Independence Day: Resurgence is the sequel to the 1996 sci-fi disaster flick Independence Day, with Roland Emmerich returning as director, and seeing Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, and Judd Hirsch reprising their respective roles. Liam Hemsowrth stars as a newcomer.
Resurgence takes place 20 years after the events of the first film. The United Nations has created the Earth Space Defense (ESD) to serve as a global defense program to warn against any oncoming extraterrestrial threats with the help of technology recovered from the alien spaceships destroyed 20 years before. The aliens come back and attack again, but this time, with a bigger and more deadly force.
Roland Emmerich has developed a reputation for directing disaster-based films that feature big, sweeping special effects (that usually destroy a lot of buildings and landmarks), but shallow characters that we just don't care about. Resurgence, unfortunately, is just another example to go alongside with the likes of Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. The first Independence Day suffered largely from the same problems, but it had that summer-popcorn entertainment quality to it that made it at least enjoyable. The special effects were certainly impressive back then, but nowadays, the average sci-fi movie goer is so used to seeing big spaceships and watching stuff go boom, there's no longer anything to be truly wowed by. The hype behind Resurgence seems to be something like: "You liked the big spaceships and big explosions the first time? Well now we're gonna have BIGGER spaceships and BIGGER explosions! Bigger is better!" Indeed, Resurgence is bigger; bigger visuals, but also a bigger level of incoherence. In this case, bigger is not better.
- The visuals. To its credit, the films does deliver when it comes to the action and visual spectacle. The visuals don't wow us like the first Independence Day did, but they still provide for a somewhat pleasing experience. I'd be surprised if you find yourself bored once the action gets going.
- The very last line of the film. I won't spoil it, but the very last line before the end credits start may just be worth the price of admission.
- The excessive amount of characters. Not only is there little to no character development to speak of, but there are too many characters to try and focus on. From Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth and the other fighter pilots, Judd Hirsch and a group of kids he comes across, Brent Spiner, Bill Pullman, Hemsworth's character's fiancee, the list goes on and on. Just when you think you came take some time to focus on one group of characters, the movie jumps to the next group, and then jumps to another one, and then another one. After the aliens attack, the movie goes in circles, following a process that goes something like:
- What's Jeff Goldblum up to?
- How are the fighter pilots doing?
- Alien action!
- What's going on with Mr. Hirsch and those kids?
- What's Brent Spiner gonna do now?
- More alien action!
-Hey, don't forget about these characters!
One thing is for sure: Will Smith was surely missed.
- The lack of "fun". Unlike the first Independence Day, Resurgence just doesn't provide a sense of "fun" you should get from a summer-popcorn film like this one. The incoherence and boring characters really take away from the entertainment value that the alien-fighting scenes provide.
Overall, Resurgence provides the action and visuals you'd expect, but suffers from basically the exact same problems that Roland Emmerich always seems to gloss over. Aside from its incoherent plot and excessive number of characters, there's basically nothing in the film to be in awe of or find impressive. Resurgence may just become another of those sci-fi action flicks that you won't remember unless you happen to come across a DVD or Blu-Ray copy at the library or video store.
Here you'll find my reviews on just about any film you may have seen. I try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible. I structure my reviews in the following way: