Independence Day: Resurgence Review

Genre: Action
Year: 2016
Runtime: 120 minutes
Main Cast: Liam Hemsworth
Jeff Goldblum
Jessie T. Usher
Bill Pullman
Maika Monroe
Main Production Company: Centropolis Entertainment
Written by: Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods
James Vanderbilt
Directed by: Roland Emmerich


Written by Nelson Cumming

Independence Day Resurgence is a sequel twenty years in the making (not really but you get the point) and has a lot of hype. I went into Independence Day Resurgence with an open mind, but after about 10 minutes in, that went out the door. There are a couple of scenes and elements to it that were awesome but the movie was mostly boring.

The story, when you boil it down, is pretty basic. Aliens come back to earth after twenty years and it’s up to Jake Morrison, (Liam Hemsworth) David Levinson, (Jeff Goldblum) Dylan Dubrow-Hiller, (Jessie Usher) et. al. to save the earth once again from space aliens. Oh, and the protagonists get help from an intelligent white spherical robot and various defense systems.

This movie is like the original Independence Day except bigger, louder and no Will Smith. If you need any proof that it’s bigger, you just need to look at the ship. It’s the size of half the earth. It’s clear from the outset that director Ronald Emmerich wanted the movie to be a technical exercise and it mostly succeeds on that level. I thought the CGI looked good especially with how the main villain moved fluently despite his large structure. The millions of ships were ok from a CGI standpoint. Finally, I thought some of the stuntwork was awesome.

Now onto the negatives…

The movie was boring on multiple levels. The dialogue, the pacing, the acting, the humorless gags and the predictable story. Five minutes into watching the movie, I wrote “The dialogue is bad, I’ve heard worse, but it’s bad” some of the dialogue felt unnatural, other times it just didn’t make much sense. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down what any character said but I had the constant feeling that none of the dialogue connected with me, or felt natural with the “end of the world” situation they were in.

Another fault in the movie was the horrifically slow narrative pacing due to too-many-character-syndrome and the repetitive gags. The pristine example comes from Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner) who awakens from a coma that lasted, you guessed it, twenty years! He gets the bad comedic gag of his bum showing out of his hospital gown. The gag wasn’t funny the first time (or the other times they tried it). Dr. Brakish Okun doesn’t need to be in the story. I believe he was only there to nostalgia to the hardcore Independence Day fans. He wasn’t the only one that was needlessly there either.

Finally, the story was highly predictable filled with bad melodrama. The “romantic” subplot felt rushed for the popcorn filling special effects show. Normally, I would be against this movie, but the romantic elements between the Liam Hemsworth and Maika Monroe characters were so cookie cutter I was half-relieved they did not get lots of screen time together. You get the usual “I want to live in a house with you” line said by the woman just before the man leaves for his deadly mission cliche. You also get the sidekick who says “you are the only friend I have ever had” said by Travis Tope’s character. Despite the brevity of these lines and scenes, it still felt tedious.

With the combination of thirty-minute character introductions, romantic melodrama, wooden acting with bad dialogue, Independence Day Resurgence is a two-hour cinematic slog that is not worth the climax of a twenty-minute action sequence. The movie is also explicit that there will be another installment at the ending. I pray that doesn’t happen. *1/2

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