Independence Day: Resurgence

"Good"

Independence Day: Resurgence Review


Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much of the original cast. (The record may go to the 32 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.) But clearly filmmakers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin have long wanted to follow up their 1996 blockbuster hit Independence Day. The result is a big, fast sci-fi action thriller that lacks both the original movie's enjoyably raucous tone and its break-out star Will Smith.

After the events of 20 years ago, America has taken alien technology to heart, improving transportation and military defence, including creating a base on the moon to keep an eye out for returning tentacled baddies. Then an orb-shape ship appears, followed by a new mothership so large that it spans the entire Atlantic Ocean. President Lanford (Sela Ward) turns to the surviving heroes of the previous invasion for help: scientific expert David (Jeff Goldblum), former president Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and mad genius Brakish (Brent Spiner). Meanwhile, a young team of next-generation pilots dives into the fray, including Dylan (Jesse T. Usher playing Will Smith's now-grown son), Jake (Liam Hemsworth), Patricia (Maika Monroe as Whitmore's daughter and Jake's fiancee) and Charlie (Travis Tope).

The film is assembled in standard disaster movie style, quickly introducing characters and their personal little melodramas before throwing them into the mad chaos of this new invasion. Emmerich is an expert at this structure, using it to hugely entertaining effect from Independence Day to Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2014 and White House Down. So it's odd that this film feels so lifeless by comparison. The story rushes past at a breathless pace that never allows the characters or events to gain any real traction with the audience. The only sharp wit on hand this time comes from throwaway one-liners apparently improvised by Goldblum. And the action feels eerily derivative, rehashed from Emmerich's filmography with added elements from Star Wars and Apocalypse Now.

Still, the movie is big enough to hold the interest. And there are some spectacular moments along the way. A climactic fight in the desert looks terrific, and the young cast members are likeable enough. But the script feels like it was written by a committee (it was), with several jarringly inconsistent plot points, underdeveloped internal logic and soapy little dramas that are painfully obvious, undermining any chance that the big finale will be very rousing. Even so, the corny touches are disarmingly amusing, and the brisk pace makes it the kind of film that gives you little choice but to hang on and enjoy the ride.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence:



Independence Day: Resurgence

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

In Theaters: Friday 24th June 2016

Budget: $200M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Harald Kloser

Starring: as Jake Morrison, as President Whitmore, as David Levinson, as Secretary of Defense, as Sam, Jessie Usher as Dylan Hiller, Chin Han as Commander Jiang Lao, as Dr. Catherine Marceaux, as Patricia Whitmore, as General Adams, Vivica A. Fox as Jasmine, as President Lanford, AngelaBaby as Rain, as Dr. Brakish Okun, Grace Huang as Lin Tang, as Julius Levinson, Ryan Cartwright as Officer Ryan Collins, Garrett Wareing as Bobby, as Agent Matthew Travis, Mckenna Grace as Daisy, as Yeong, Alice Rietveld as Secret Service Agent, as Floyd Rosenberg, Travis Tope as Charlie, James A. Woods as Lt. Ritter, as General Grey, as Dikembe, Travis Hammer as Jeffrey Fineman, John Storey as Dr. Isaacs, Hays Wellford as Felix, Sam Quinn as Radar Officer, Alma Sisneros as Aide 2, Diana Gaitirira as Comms Officer, Humberto Castro as Parisian Office Worker, Richard Beal as Military Brass, as Armand, Monique Candelaria as Tech Officer, Evan Bryn Graves as Pilot P. Goodman, Stafford Douglas as Flight Officer, Robert Neary as Captain McQuaide, Beth Bailey as Nurse, Grizelda Quintana as Road Rage / Confrontation Driver, Lance Lim as Kevin, Brandon K. Hampton as Officer, Kenny Leu as Ping Li, Ava Del Cielo as Young Mother (uncredited), Leilei Chen as Background (uncredited), Catharine Pilafas as Flight Officer (uncredited), Katrina Kavanaugh as ESD Tech (uncredited), Jason E. Hill as Marine (uncredited)

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