Saturday, June 25, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence Film Review

by The World Weary

Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher, Brent Spiner
Series: Independence Day
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Length: 120 Minutes

Remember When?

This review features minor spoilers for Indpendence Day: Resurgence.

Remember when the White House blew up in Independence Day? Remember when Will Smith said, "Welcome to Erf?"

Are you ready for two whole hours of questions like that? If you are, then stop reading and go see Independence Day: Resurgence! If that sounds awkward, then you're damn right. It is awkward. This whole movie is just an escalating series of callbacks to the original film, that are as uninspired as they are boring. There's the classic destruction porn, the hero who sacrifices himself for the greater good, Jeff Goldblum's "ahh"'s and "um"'s, the air battles, etc. Characters even reference events from the first film in their dialogue, usually in a failed attempt to make the stakes seem higher. This movie bored my balls off, and I suppose I should tell you why...

So twenty years after the events of Independence Day, the world has united and used captured alien technology to expand across the solar system. Out of the blue, a new species of alien appears on The Moon followed immediately by the return of the aliens who had attacked Earth before. A bunch of dumb caricatures of people now have to decipher an ancient code, or some shit, to figure out how to help the friendly aliens and kill the nasty ones.

A lot of people complained that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was too similar to Star Wars, and to those people I say now, "STAY AWAY FROM THIS FILM."

Where The Force Awakens is a set of new characters in a familiar story and setting, Independence Day: Resurgence is just a bunch of characters you've already met talking about the glory days, while the younger cast handles the action in all it's forgettable splendor. Seriously, nothing undercuts the tension and stakes of a scene more than a character blurting out, "Wow! That's a bigger ship/gun/explosion/pair of tits/etc. than last time!".

Even the ending is just the characters going, "We will do what worked last time!" and their plan still succeeds. How much more bring and anticlimactic can you get?

Spoiler Alert: London and a good chunk of the planet get destroyed by a massive alien craft (it's in the trailers), and the film even takes a second to show you, close up, people on the ground in their last panicked moments, just before it cuts to the main characters in the safety of their spaceships saying lines like, "Golly! The sure love destroying the famousest places, huh?"

Gah! Fuck you, movie. Saying something is bigger and more terrifying doesn't make it so. And nothing about this movie is as good as the original. I'm not saying the original is a great film, but it was a landmark for big blockbusters and sci-fi alike. This however, is just a pale imitation. Another attempt to build a fledgling franchise out of a property that was popular decades ago.

The film's actual climax was really the only bright spot for me, and it only worked because I was more in a mood to watch a Godzilla film than an Independence Day sequel that was twenty years too late to the party. For a action movie that literally begins with Saturn, The Moon, and a giant part of the Earth getting destroyed, the climax was actually really small (by comparison) and surprisingly inventive and fun.

There's really not much else for me to say. This film was remarkably boring, almost wholly unoriginal, and as poorly written and directed as anything Roland Emmerich has made. See it if you must, but know that every dollar you spend on this film is only making Roland Emmerich stronger...

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