Independence Day: Resurgence Review

Independence Day Resurgence.jpg

We’re going to survive. We’re going to move on. Lee reviews Independence Day 2.

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Simplicity itself is an oft-promoted value in cinema. It’s hard to criticise a simple idea executed simply as to critique simplicity misses the point. Grandeur, conversely, attracts criticism by design. The bigger the object, the easier it is to point at it and call it a bloated, convoluted, nonsensical mess. With that seamless segue, enter “Independence Day: Resurgence”.

Rather awkwardly, what works best about Roland Emmerich’s films is their inherent simplicity. He tells stories that are well-meaning in message, often requiring the world to see the better in each other and overcome some grand obstacle they caused with their enormous, planet-sized hubris. Themes of environmentalism, religious and social openness, good Samaritan-ism, altruism and familial support regardless of family shape, size or past drama are just some of his most prevalent. There’s something Utopian in how he views the world, that no matter the hardship we shall prevail. It’s just his utter lack of craft that not only hinders his good will, but poisons it.

Characters go from simple to non-existent. Jeff Goldblum plays a guy who is famous for being in the original “Independence Day”, so that’s not a character. Liam Hemsworth plays a guy who goes from some sort of poorly explained Moon slave to an alien fighting hero and nobody bats an eye. There’s Bill Paxton, now playing Randy Quaid’s character from the original. There are over twenty further speaking roles, each with their own subplot; from war criminal and journalist team-up, to war criminal and girl journalist team-up, to a bunch of kids whose purpose in the film is to bring Goldblum’s father to him for reasons, to a bunch of pirates? Explorers? There are whole groups introduced your mind will immediately forget, and not just because your senses have been overloaded by all the fast-cut nonsense but also because they contribute next to nothing to what should be a very straight-forward plot.

Aliens attacked, we won, so now aliens attack again. How this became a series of twists and turns in which humans are tasked with protecting a magic space orb from alien spaceships by having the ex-president perform a suicide run into an alien mothership while also maintaining ground defences and, really, that’s just the surface plot.

The film contains very questionable messaging as well. From its weird outlook on grief handling, to its support of paranoia-induced military defence strategies, to its old-fashioned love interests who exist only as a reward for the men after they do the manly things, to its bizarre ending that seems somewhat pro-Colonialism, if at least pro-Murderous Vengence.

Most of which could be forgivable if the film were at least interesting in some way, but it goes on and on following the same beats as the previous film but without that much needed spark and campness that made the original so bearable. Every beat, every cut, every shot, every scene is so utterly predictable it borders on contempt for the audience.

Still, there is some value: it will make for an excellent Emmerich drinking game. It doesn’t just have some of his tropes, it has all of them; repeatedly. If it comes to Netflix, I can recommend getting a few friends together and tearing it apart for entertainment. Just make sure to have plenty of caffeine, because there’s nearly an hour-long slump on the road to the end.

Best line: “Holy Christ”. Well done William Fitchner, that was hilariously inappropriate in the context of the scene. Also this movie proves that adding spaceships and lasers does not necessarily improve everything.

C+

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10 thoughts on “Independence Day: Resurgence Review

    • You have some incredible tolerance man! Haha
      I did try to get across that, for some of this film, I did have a great time. Brother saw it with me and we were laughing for nearly an hour straight before we got bored senseless around the middle until maybe the last five hilarious minutes haha. It’s definitely higher than a C, just not B territory 😉
      Glad you agreed with most of it though, means either we have relatively good taste or we’re both terrribbbllleee critics hahaha

      Liked by 2 people

    • The important thing is I haven’t spoiled the actual good parts. The plot is terrible and any attempts to make you care for its twists and characters are misguided; but the weird stale dialogue and terrible direction and specifics regarding just how many unnecessary characters and bizarre connecting plot threads there are I have left almost completely open so, if you do see this, the essence of the comedy behind it is all isn’t spoiled! Because that is definitely where you might actually end up liking this film.

      I feel you will likely qualify this under the ‘OK’ movies banner haha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Your poor soul hahaha
      It definitely shouldn’t have missed the mark by as much as it did! Interested in seeing your full thoughts, shall check out your review once I escape work.
      And thanks! 😀

      Like

  1. Great piece. There was me thinking Emmerich was a good director for a sequel (even though he’d never made one before). An Independence Day sequel seems like a good thing but the 20-year gap is disconcerting. The chances of me rushing to see this one are virtually nil. I’ll wait for Netflix. And that drinking game you were talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely wait it out; it might make for fun background viewing maybe if you can multi-task. Drinking game is ideal, remind me nearer the time and I’ll draft you some rules 😉

      I didn’t mention it in the review, but a reason Emmerich fails here when making a sequel is because he treats it like a new property. Everything is introduced at a painstakingly dull pace, as if for the first time, yet constantly referencing how this isn’t technically the first time. He had no faith in his audience’s familiarity with the material, or even in the material’s ability to stand on its own, familiarity be damned. It’s a real shame, because this much money to have those many ships flying at each other should have been incredible.

      Like

  2. Nice review. Not sure if I will actually watching this though, ha! I’ve grown a bit tired of these big budget disaster films, they don’t really excite me anymore. You say it’s predictable, do you reckon I should give it a go anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely think if you’re even remotely interested, this could make for a solid drinking game or mindless background watch. It’s paint-by-numbers disaster movie, for sure, but there’s always a certain value in that to the right customer 😀

      Just do not rush out and watch this with hard-earned money. Wait until it’s on Netflix or your friend buys it due to them having poor judgement, then watch it at their house 😉

      Like

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