WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.
One of the most polarizing movies of the 1990s is Independence Day or ID4 even though that never really made much sense to call it ID4 in the first place. The reason why it’s polarizing is because the majority of people either love Independence Day or want to burn it at the stake. 20 years ago the soon to be Summer Box Office King Will Smith teamed up with 90s shlock icon Jeff Goldblum as they fought an army of intergalactic aliens hell-bent on taking our resources via blowing everything to hell. By movies end, real life crazy person Randy Quaid was the hero who sacrificed himself to stop an alien invasion and the world was saved so of course a sequel had to be made 2 decades later because of money and fuck you that’s why
Independence Day: Resurgence sees a return of all the original cast members with the exception of one fresh prince of Scientology. Now the story goes that Will Smith wanted $50 million dollars to return for a sequel. However, after the success of such critical hits like After Earth and Winter’s Tale, 20th Century Fox decided that money would be better spent more productive ventures like hookers, blow, and Facebook Stock. So instead Will Smith’s legendary one-liner machine is killed off-screen and that bring us to Resurgence.
20 years has passed since Earth beat the aliens by split decision and the world has completely rebuilt itself into utopia…in just 20 years. World Peace has been achieved and now the planet bands together to fight creatures from another world. Surprisingly Liam Hemsworth aka ‘No I’m not Thor’ serves as the main character, he plays superstar fighter pilot Jake Morrison along with his fiancée Patricia and former best friend Dylan who plays the stepson of decreased Will Smith character who really doesn’t say much . To be quite honest he’s in the film so little every time he pops up you have to remember that he’s even in the film, to begin with.
Now this is the part of the review where you can go into your fridge and get a can of Monster and talk about the bad because there is A LOT wrong with this film. The biggest problem is the subplots, too many side characters and stories that never seem to pay off. Starting off with Bill Pullman who back as former president Whitmore, many argue the only good part of the last Independence Day was his iconic speech that made everyone want to jump in their jets and start shooting up aliens in Mexico but Pullman stands in for Randy Quaid and becomes the town’s residential crazy man. Having visions and screaming the aliens are coming to which no one believe him until it’s too late. Also returning is Jeff Goldblum who is now running Area 51 research which is a huge step up from being a Direct TV repair man. His character is condensed to realizing how fucked the earth is and reacting to how fucked the earth is with hilarious one-liners. Vivica A. Fox is back for 2 minutes before she dies (Spoiler alert) and the two scientists from the first movie one who should have been dead but for some reason isn’t and the other you had to remember if he was even in the first movie, to begin with,
Now if you are going into this movie expecting realism than leave the theater, go to the ticket office and watch Civil War because a Spiderman fighting a 50-foot giant while a girl with witch powers is more realistic than anything you’ll see in this movie. You really have to go into this knowing that things are going to fly off the rails at some point. Maybe it’s the point where an alien ship that bigger than the entire United States of America combined wants to destroy the earth by drilling a space laser in the middle of the ocean. Or maybe it’s the point where a giant white Pokeball that comes from space that wants to teach us the art of kung fu. Or maybe it’s the part where a massive 70 foot Godzilla villain is chasing Jeff Goldblum and a bunch of school children in a bus while she’s shooting at it with a giant laser gun. At some point, that movie loses all point of trying to treat it a Shakespearean masterpiece and instead becomes a film you crack a beer at and drink every time something blows up.
As ridiculous as this movie sounds I found something quite charming about its ridiculousness. I mean if I was watching this movie on a Saturday afternoon with no cable, life, a will to live, and had a half empty bottle of Jack, I would actually enjoy Independence Day: Resurgence. However, for a movie budgeted at 200 Million dollars, you would expect a little more effort in the arena of writing, acting, suspense, and time management. Visually I say this film is well done, Resurgence turns up the action to a level not even the first one was able to achieve but the praise ends there sadly.
Would Will Smith have made this movie better? Possibly? Maybe the movie would have focused more on a Smith/Goldblum bromance instead of an ensemble cast of characters who never really stand out outside of an extra who walked away from the set of Beast of No Nation but the end of the day Independence Day: Resurgence is an enjoyable film if you are just looking to kill 2 hours. But a lot like the last film, you are either going to love this movie or hate its guts. While I didn’t hate this movie, I have no interest in sitting through this movie again and it’s not really worth the IMAX prices they will charge you to see Gale Hawthorne in 3D.
Official Rating: – **
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