Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

4:10 AM

We Had Twenty Years to Prepare. So Did They.
This review Contains Spoilers
 Independence Day: Resurgence is directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012) and stars Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, The Dressmaker), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jessie T. Usher and Maika Monroe (It Follows, The Guest). "Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind's new space defenses be enough?". 20 years on and Independence Day gets a sequel - is it necessary or is it just a big cash grab?

I need to make it clear that I have not watched the original Independence Day - I was just excited to see this film due to the pretty good trailers. However, I have to say, Resurgence is pretty mediocre - there is not much about it that I can rave about. I don't know how it ranks in comparison to the original but my best guess would be that it is not as good. This sequel definitely wasn't needed (a lot like most of 2016s sequels) and the end result wasn't really worth all the effort and money that must have gone into this flick. 

The performances in this film are a mixed bag - sometimes actors are good and at other times they are not so great. The best way to describe all of the performances in this film is that they are 'nothing special'. I don't really understand how Hemsworth got this big role as his role wasn't huge in The Hunger Games films and he hasn't really had any other successful films - he had his moments and was generally ok. Jeff Goldblum is one of the returning cast members - his performance was nothing to write home about either. I have to say, I think the main problem is that none of the characters were that likeable and most of them were pretty one dimensional so it was extremely hard to connect to any of the characters. The only time I did feel something for a character was when Usher's character's mum died - that moment was pretty sad. Maika Monroe moved away from indies with this film and I don't think she really was given the material to showcase her acting ability - here she is just mediocre and I have seen her previous films where she is much better. I have to give it to Independence Day: Resurgence - the cast is very diverse - there are a mix of ages, genders and ethnicities which is nice to see. However, the representation of the older characters is pretty poor - the performances aren't great and the film seems to think that every old character is a mad scientist - I can't remember the last modern film that has featured a 'mad scientist' character - it just felt very outdated. It didn't help that Brent Spiner was wearing a stupid wig that gave Julia Roberts in Mother's Day a run for her money. 

The plot for Independence Day: Resurgence is pretty simple - there is a threat to the world that needs to be stopped. However, I thought the film was extremely slow paced and it just didn't feel very exciting. I thought there was way too much talking and not enough action. The film would mislead you - you would think you're about to witness a big action scene but it would literally last 2 minutes. As the plot is simple, it also means that it is pretty generic and is similar to every film that follows this same plot. I also have to say, the reveal towards the end was extremely stupid - the idea that some sphere robots are another race of species that the aliens are threatened by was very far fetched. I know this is a film about aliens but they could have just kept it to aliens vs humans without going too far by adding in a stupid additional species. 

The visual effects were generally good throughout the film. I thought the visuals of spaceships going into battle were excellent and it was generally pretty believable when characters were on screen during this as well. However, there were also many moments throughout the film that you could tell a green screen was used and it just felt very fake. The aliens were pretty good but I don't think they got enough screen time. Even though there wasn't too much action, the action we did get was entertaining. I did like the very end action scene and thought that was probably the best moment in the entire film. 

From the marketing, I thought this film was going to be pretty dark and tense - the film actually started with quite a dark tone. However, this turned out to be a pretty light film - not because it was packed with jokes (because it wasn't) but because it only really touched the surface on everything - there were no high stakes, there was little talk about the rest of the world - the aliens didn't even seem that threatening. Independence Day: Resurgence could have tried to be a little darker because I think it would have worked much better. 

Independence Day: Resurgence really isn't that great - at most it is mediocre. I thought the acting was solid but many talented actors were underused, the visual effects were good but had some weak moments, the film was too light and the stakes were just not very high. This is probably a good film to see if you're extremely bored and want a little bit of entertainment this summer but I think there are other films that are worth your money a little more. Independence Day: Resurgence is definitely not a resurge for the franchise.

2.5 STARS
C-

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