Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman
Director: Roland Emmerich
Running Time: 120 mins
Independence Day: Resurgence is an American film and the sequel to Independence Day. Twenty years after first contact and the war of ’96, a unified and highly-advanced Earth faces an even bigger threat from beyond the stars.
Independence Day may have been dumb, but at least it had spirit, gusto and charisma. Resurgence, on the other hand, is even dumber, and is one of the dullest, most lifeless films I’ve ever seen. For a series that at first emphasised all of humanity’s relentless will to survive, this sequel is a sad example of Hollywood not putting in the effort just for a quick payday.
I was no fan of the first film, but in comparison to the utter mess that is Resurgence, it now looks like the greatest film ever made. Independence Day: Resurgence does not feature one single moment of tension, excitement or awe; its pathetic story is absolutely all over the place from start to finish, and the unacceptably thin and formulaic characters give you no reason whatsoever to care about anything that’s happening on screen.
I understand completely that this is meant to be a big, dumb action fest, but the main reason why I can’t look past the awful story in Resurgence as I did for the first film is simply because it has no heart to it. The first film saved itself and made a moderately engaging watch through its passion and patriotism, always pushing the idea that humanity will always come through in some way or other.
Here, on the other hand, there are two awful speeches that attempt to recapture that glory, and then the rest is all a horrific rip-off of Star Wars. Despite having the potential to look at how alien technology has changed the Earth over the last twenty years, Resurgence dumps a likely intriguing story for an ugly special effects extravaganza that we’ve seen a million times before.
The point I want to get across here is that, despite being a big, hulking 90s disaster movie, Independence Day succeeded thanks to its sheer passion and huge heart. That’s why most people remember it fondly, and I’m afraid to say that’s the reason that Resurgence, a lifeless and unacceptably formulaic cashgrab, is going to feel like an even more crushing disappointment.
And there’s one final catch. Just as the first film kicked off 90s disaster movies, Resurgence looks like the beginning of a horrific new trend: pandering to Chinese audiences. The Chinese box office is effectively the biggest in the world now, and this film is a clear indication of Hollywood’s desire to get in there quickly. I’ve got no problem with lead Chinese characters, but when we’ve got product placement for QQ and 酸奶 in one of the most American movies ever, there’s a serious problem.
Overall, I was horrified at how bad Independence Day: Resurgence is. Its visuals may be detailed and extravagant, but not even that makes it an enjoyable popcorn fest. The film is a painfully lifeless and dull affair, with a story all over the place, and most disappointingly, completely missing the entire spirit of the original movie, and that’s why it gets a 3.8 from me.