Independence Day: Resurgence – Review

This review will contain spoilers:

The movie that propelled Will Smith to superstardom has finally gotten a sequel.

20 years later.

Without Will Smith.

Well, okay. At least we have the same director, and returning actors Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, and Vivica A. Fox returning, so there’s that, right? Well, not really. We don’t get to spend too much time with any of our old friends, because the movie is too busy trying to establish the new members of the cast: Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, DeObia Operei, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Maika Monroe, Nicholas Wright, Angelababy… Yes, there’s a person named Angelababy in this film. Yes, she’s a model and singer, and yes, celebrity culture obsesses over stage names, but I just can’t take the name “Angelababy” seriously. I can’t take her acting seriously, either, but I’m willing to cut her some slack on this issue because everyone else’s efforts at acting in this film weren’t up to snuff. But more on that in a moment.

You’ve seen the trailers, so you know the plot of this film, no doubt. 20 years after the original invasion, Earth has united under a single banner. Peace reigns. We’ve managed to reverse-engineer a good deal of the alien’s technology: we’ve got cold-fusion nuclear power, anti-gravity propelled fighter jets, laser-guns (PEW PEW!), and undoubtedly a host of other advancements…which we never get to see.

Cue aliens! A strange sphere appears above the moon-base of the Earth Space Defense. Despite it taking absolutely no aggressive actions against the base, and despite it being of a completely different design than the ships from the first film (Goldblum’s character manages to deduce that it belongs to a different species than the Bad-Guys, and advises not to take aggressive action), they shoot it down anyways. Turns out, that alien was here to actually help us. Oops.

Cue more aliens. The Bad Guy aliens have appeared! They blast through Earth’s Defenses like they were nothing. Earth is once again helpless! Earth launches a counter-attack, trying to blow up the alien ship from the inside. It fails, miserably, however. And we lose all of our fighters in that one attack, despite only fielding at most a hundred jets. Somehow.

Despite all of this, in the end, Earth succeeds, though only by the skin of our teeth.

Just like the first film. Other than the introduction of the new species and the expansion of the Independence Day universe, this films follows the same beats and general outline of the first, which I feel is too much of the same. The Hangover pt. II made the same mistake and got critically grilled for it.

As I said before, the acting in this movie isn’t the greatest. Which is a bit disappointing, because there are some decent actors in this film. But Roland Emmerich, the film’s’ director, is more interested in the visual flair of destruction rather than creating a memorable character piece. Emmerich had the actors perform the obligatory emotional beats without really caring that they were there. His lack of investment in this aspect probably rubbed off on the actors. To see another example of a competent actor get hamstrung by sub-par direction, look to Mark Wahlberg in the film The Happening.

Overall, this film is a rather big disappointment. I was expecting dumb fun but got too much dumb in the mix. Some parts are just boring, while others are a mess (the ending, shoving a sequel in our faces at the expense of emotional resolution; despite this, they still cut away from the sequel explanation seemingly in the middle of it).


Overall, I give this film a 5/10.

2 Replies to “Independence Day: Resurgence – Review”

    1. I don’t doubt it. I just found her stage name to be a bit odd is all. Like I said, I felt everyone’s acting was off, not just hers. We had people in this film who could act very well, but I didn’t get to see much of it. It’s most likely the director’s fault.

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