Independence Day: Resurgence, 2016.
Directed by Roland Emmerich.
Starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, William Fichtner, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Brent Spiner, Joey King, Sela Ward, Vivica A. Fox, Angelababy, Nicolas Wright, Travis Tope, Judd Hirsch, and Deobia Opare.
Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?
Just to throw it out there, I am not really a fan of Roland Emmerich and his style of Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking, which is to basically abandon the plot and blow up every single damn thing in sight, regardless of if it is done in any sort of creative fashion at all. Towering buildings? They’re all coming down. Oceans? They’re getting swallowed up, and probably by the aforementioned towering buildings that are coming down one after the other. Landmarks? Destroy them all for recognition and to inject even more fun into the mass destruction.
There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with these movies, but sometimes they do take themselves far too seriously. Emmerich however, never really seems to have this problem, even during his movies that I actively hate for other reasons such as White House Down that was released in 2013. Love him or hate him, he understands that he is pumping out some form of crap, it’s just thankfully not diarrhea. If anything, it’s more akin to the satisfying taste dogs feel when eating their own crap. I mean, why else would they do that?
Getting back on track, Independence Day: Resurgence brings back almost all of the fan favorite characters from the 1996 original (the only reason I remember the exact year the movie came out is because there are references to it here a lot) and gives them so many ridiculous, cheesy, over-dramatic pieces of dialogue that you cannot help but stomp the floor laughing. Jeff Goldblum in particular is given many of them, and knocks pretty much all of them out of the park. Brent Spiner’s scientist character also awakens from his coma and also gets some silly lines; “The’re not screaming, they’re celebrating”.
Oh yeah, Bill Pullman is also back and gets to deliver another epic speech before the doomsday countdown is up. Unfortunately, it isn’t as good or memorable as the one from the original film (then again, neither is anything here) but it will have you beating your chest and mentally screaming AMERICA FUCK YEAH. I suppose you will also be thanking China too, because Emmerich knows that market loves this style of movie, and has given them a reason to be extra invested in the movie.
As you can probably figure out, the actual story is a load of nonsense. We had 20 years to prepare, they had 20 years to prepare, they are back, and even with all of the advancements in technology from the aftermath of the first movie, Earth has no chance in hell of winning this round. Pretty much everything gets blown up, and it’s up to some pilot fighters to save the day. Unfortunately, many of the new characters (which are the pilot fighters) aren’t very interesting. The only memorable moment any of them has is Liam Hemsworth inside an alien spaceship throwing up the middle finger and taking a piss.
It would also be nice if that some of the more important character deaths actually had some weight to them. It probably won’t even sink in that they are gone until watching the next film (come on, you know Hollywood is going to milk this further). It is a given that no one is seeing Independence Day: Resurgence for the plot, but rather pretty much what they were promised; most of the cast getting back together with some new faces to kick some alien ass one more time. And so much of what is going on in the third act is so ridiculous, it is hard not to find some enjoyment out of it. Even the final battle against the Queen decides to randomly use video game logic,, which will baffle the mind but easily keep your rolling with everything going on.
Ultimately, the movie works because the endearing and charismatic characters make the experience so fun and don’t take anything seriously. I fear for an Independence Day film without the major players. Will Smith’s absence is missed, but doesn’t hurt the movie one bit.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★