Anghus Houvouras shares his disappointment with Independence Day: Resurgence…
Terrible movies are fascinating and this day and age seem far more frequent. I don’t want to be one of these bandwagon hopping pitchfork wielding mob types who screams bloody murder over the terrible amount of sequels, prequels, and reboots happening in Hollywood right now. Not unless these metaphorical pitchforks transformed into real ones I was allowed the opportunity of ten minutes in a soundproof room with whomever is responsible for the abomination that is Independence Day: Resurgence.
Oh sweet Bard, help me find the words to properly describe this experience of watching this weird wet fart of a feature film. Imagine passing a pine cone through your rectum. And right behind that pine cone is a porous container of hot sauce and hydrochloric acid. Once you complete this gargantuan task of passing these random items through your colon, the only available wiping material is a pile of steel wool that had been used to scrub the bedpans of a retirement community that specializes in IBS patients.
I’m perplexed as how something this bad exists. This is your typical Summer blockbuster movie with hundreds of millions of dollars and a pretty standard alien invasion plot. We’ve seen this play out hundreds of times. I can easily think of a dozen movies that took the exact same premise and delivered something lazy and uninspired: Battleship. Battle: Los Angeles, Skyline, Invasion, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The 5th Wave, and Cowboys & Aliens immediately spring to mind. And though these films have achieved a level of average that would make Kentucky Fried Chicken envious, they are not as terrible and disappointing as Independence Day: Resurgence.
The film jumps right in showing us the world 20 years after the original movie. Earth defeated invading aliens using a Macbook and a handful of tomahawk missiles. Things weren’t all cigars and celebrations after our victory. The world put aside their petty differences and used the alien technology to give themselves a tasty evolutionary upgrade. They’re smart enough to prepare for a return from our would-be alien overlords. When they show up, we quickly learn that our upgrades aren’t nearly as impressive as theirs and get our asses handed to us faster than you can say “Sayonara Eastern Seaboard”.
Like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Independence Day: Resurgence is basically the original movie copy/pasted into the modern era. The Force Awakens was able to overcome a complete lack of ingenuity thanks to the effort of the creative shepherds and a very likable cast. Resurgence decided to take the opposite route. There is zero effort made and the film features the most unlikable ensemble cast ever assembled. This cast is headlined by Liam Hemsworth who may be the least charismatic leading man since the world was introduced to Jai Courtney. He’s horrible in a hilarious way delivering his testosterone fueled lines as if being directed to act as though he is missing chromosomes. The older actors from the original are there but they’re stuck in ‘Schtick Mode’, doing the same tired schtick recycled from the first movie. Jeff Goldblum sleepwalks through every scene as if he’s distracted by doing the math to figure out if appearing in this piece of trash paid him enough to buy that vacation home in Malta he’s been eyeing.
What saved Independence Day: Resurgence was the humor. Not actual humor. Every attempt at a joke falls flatter than a pancake in a hydraulic press operated by a tone deaf A-Cup. The unintentional humor on the other hand: holy shit. I laughed my way through this screening, much to the chagrin of those in the theater with me. There’s a death scene early on that is so unintentionally hilarious that I couldn’t stop laughing for a solid 10 minutes. If I had seen this movie high I might have required hospitalization. The absolutely turgid dialogue lands with the grace of a gymnast with no bones. There are moments that are intended to be dramatic but play out with the weight of a third grade adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. The original Independence Day is a cheesy, ham-fisted popcorn classic. It’s big, dumb, and fun. The sequel can only claim the first two.
Trust me when I tell you that I am trying to avoid hyperbole in this review. Independence Day: Resurgence is genuinely terrible in every, single aspect. Even things like the Production Design are bad. The laser guns look like Nerf blasters. The characters are so lazily entered into the narrative that they don’t deserve names. There isn’t a single scene that looks like it was filmed in the real world. There’s an overall fakeness to every single molecule in the mewling, maddening, mess of a movie. If the opposite of inspiration is depression, then Independence Day: Resurgence is the most depressing and possibly disappointing movie ever made.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker and the co-host of Across the Pondcast. Follow him on Twitter.
. url=”.” . width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]