“Independence Day: Resurgence” is the sequel to 1996’s “Independence Day,” a film that exploded in popularity and has come to define pretty much everything about 90s action films and the summer blockbuster in general. The plot of this movie is: the aliens come back. That’s truly all that is going on. Liam Hemsworth stars as Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman return and Will Smith does not. Roland Emmerich co-writes and directs.
Despite what the nostalgic teenager in you may want to think, the original “Independence Day” is not a good movie by any means, but it is a solid summer action movie led by a “popular as an actor can be” 1990s Will Smith. Did it need a sequel? Absolutely not. Did the 20 years between films give Emmerich and his team the time needed to create a worthy follow-up anyways? Even less so.
There are movies that are so bad they are good and then there is this thing. It isn’t watchable, it’s incredibly boring and a chore to sit through, but my god does it have some of the biggest laughs of 2016. I am not kidding, there is a death scene here that is so over-the-top and overly dramatic that my friend and I were in genuine tears for over a minute.
But unintentional laughs aside, this thing is a mess and a stupid one at that. Look, there are dumb fun movies, the first “Independence Day” is proof of that, but this movie is just dumb. Half the dialogue is just people screaming while they fire blasters or cheering because we blew up an alien ship. It just comes off as cheesy and unrealistic and, again, unintentionally funny. It takes 40 minutes before something besides exposition and set-up happens, which would be fine if we cared about any of these characters.
The thing that worked for the original film was we were an unprepared human race who used our modern technology to unite and defeat an invading alien race. This time around we have learned from the defeated aliens and used their weapons to create blaster guns, flying cars and gravity-defying trains. It is no longer that “relatable” (as much as an alien invasion film can be relatable) and becomes full-blown sci-fi fantasy, and if I wanted that I would just play one of the new Call of Dutys that no one asked for.
“Independence Day: Resurgence” may have its (brief, fleeting) share of fun destruction sequences and Jeff Goldblum offers a little bit of nostalgic comfort, but he and most of the rest of the cast look bored, and that is reflected in the excitement level of the audiences who have the misfortune of purchasing a ticket to this film.
The final shot of the film is a set up for another sequel (all that is missing is the characters turning and saying, “see you guys in ‘Independence Day 3!’”), and I just pray to God aliens come and wipe us out before that day comes.
Critics Rating: 2/10