INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (2016) - Movie Review

June 28, 2016

Twenty years ago, director Roland Emmerich provided movie audiences all over the world, with an entertaining film, a little blockbuster you may have heard of, called Independence Day. ID4 had the perfect mix of comedy, cheesy one liners, likable characters, and Sci-Fi throwbacks. When I first heard that Emmerich was creating a sequel to ID4, I’ll admit, I was full of curiosity and excited to see what a sequel would entail. Unfortunately, that sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence was released, like a fart in the wind. 

 

20 years after the “War of 1996”, after all of the destruction, the people of Earth have rebuilt and even utilized “alien” technology to create the “Earth Space Defense”, which has defensive bases on the Moon, Mars, Rhea, and Area 51. Meanwhile, in Africa, ESD director Dr. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) meets Dr. Catherine Marceaux and warlord Dikembe Umbutu. They lead Dr. Levinson to an alien spacecraft that landed there in 1996. It was discovered that during the “War of 1996” the aliens were drilling a hole to get to the Earth’s core to implode the planet. Once the aliens were defeated, a stress signal was sent from the ship, which alerted the “queen alien”, which begins the alien’s trek towards Earth. Umbutu, former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and others experience visions of extra terrestrial logograms, which they draw pictures of and try to interpret the messages. 
  

Throughout the film, audiences are introduced to characters both new and old. U.S. Pilot Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) who is engaged to President Whitmore’s daughter, Patricia Whitmore. Dylan Hiller (Jesse Usher) the son of Steven Hiller (Will Smith’ s character in ID4) and ID4 alumnus Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch), Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner), and Jasmine Hiller (Vivica A. Fox).ESD encounters a Spherical ship that transports through a wormhole, ESD fires at the ship, per orders from the current President of the United States, President Sanford (Sela Ward). This action acts like a domino effect, the species that was fired upon is actually an enemy of the “evil” alien species. Taking them out allowed the alien mothership to attack all ESD defenses and invade Earth. And with the rest of the film, chaos ensues as humans fight against aliens once again. 


Unfortunately, there are many things that I disliked about the film. First, what stood out to me the most, was the way the film looked. The CGI effects, when done right, can look good. But the CGI used in Independence Day: Resurgence was terrible. The aliens looked fake, the mothership looked fake, and the destruction looked fake. Yes, Independence Day, a twenty-year old film, had better special effects than ID4-2. The practical effects used in ID4, involving the aliens and the use of miniatures during the destruction scenes looked more realistic than the CGI effects in the sequel. 
    

Second, lack of character development. ID4-2 introduced a new character, Jake Morrison, portrayed by Liam Hemsworth. By far one of the worst characters in the film, a total waste of screen time. I feel it would have been better to have focused more on Dylan Hiller (the son from ID4), but for some reason he was more of a background character, when he should have been one of the main protagonist. I also disliked the use of the characters from the first Independence Day, Jasmine Hiller (Vivica A. Fox) had 30-60 seconds of screen time, Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch) lacked the same charm he had in the first film, and Dr. Okun had too much screen time. And third, the humor just fell flat in ID4-2, the one liners were terrible and got no reaction from the audience. 

    

A couple of things I really enjoyed about the film, the performance by Jeff Goldblum. I thought he did great with the material with which he had to work with. And as far as the story line of the film, I was intrigued with the added element of another alien species, who is a friend of humans and an enemy of the “evil” aliens. 


In closing, I say if you have not seen Independence Day: Resurgence yet, save your money and wait to watch the film when it gets released on Blu-ray or DVD. 

 

Phillip is a life-long horror movie fan and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film. Check out Phillip's YouTube channel here

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