TL;DR – If you want spectacle, it has it, and indeed it still has a really good message which I think we need now more than ever, but it just does not hit the same mark as the first film.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
The original Independence Day is a masterpiece of cinema, it was technically quite brilliant for its time with the effects, it reinvigorated the genre in a time of stagnation, it blew the roof off the standard of what a blockbuster is, and at the heart of it, it had a really good story and theme. Seriously, go watch that speech at the end, I’ll link it below, it still is amazing.
So with all that being said, it’s been 20 years, and we finally have a sequel, so it is any good? Well yes, however, while it does match the first film with regards to the spectacle, it does feel a little lacking.
So if for some reason you have not seen the first Independence Day in the last 20 years, and at this point given how many times it has appeared on TV that is almost impressive if you haven’t seen it. So to catch you up, aliens came, blew up a tonne of cities and landmarks, but us crafty humans outsmarted them and used their own technology against them and won. So now it has been 20 years and surprise, surprise, they’re back.
Look before I go on and sound a bit negative, I do want to say that it is a really good film, the action is top notch, there are some really interesting set pieces, the acting is fine, and the message behind the film is as good as the first one. With the acting you have some of the old school of Hollywood that just know how to perform, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Sela Ward & Brent Spiner are all really strong in their roles. The action is all really solid, cities will be destroyed, there will be alien/fighter dogfights in the sky, and things will go boom. More so than ever the power of the Chinese cinema is on show here. Also much like the first movie, there is this strong undercurrent of working together and in a world that feels like it a message we need to hear more.
But with all of this, it just comes off feeling a bit lacking, like seriously don’t try to cram a pseudo -love triangle down our throats, it was painful to watch, though thankfully it does not take up too much of the film. The young cast was mostly ok, but they didn’t have the range and the old cast and felt more like filler because they could not convince Will Smith to come back. Mostly when the film was doing its own thing it went quite well, but far too often it re-tread over ideas/themes/tropes that they used in the first film, and the first film did it better. Also, the music outside of the main themes from the first film felt really off, the action sequences were the worse within this regard.
In the end, while I did enjoy Independence Day Resurgence, and I would recommend it, it just felt like it was missing something. But that being said, you will probably enjoy it, and at least the carnage will be there for you to watch.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed by – Roland Emmerich
Screenplay by – Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich & James Vanderbilt
Story by – Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich
Based on – Characters created by Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich
Starring – Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Travis Tope, Angelababy, Vivica A. Fox, Sela Ward, Judd Hirsch, DeObia Oparei & Brent Spiner
Rating – Australia: M; NZ: M; UK: 12A; USA: PG-13