The first Independance Day is a classic distaster movie with great turns from the likes of Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman. After the world has been waiting forever for a sequel we finally get one. But can it be anywhere near as good as the original?
Set twenty years after the events of the first movie, Earth has used the alien technology left from the last attack to prepare themselves for any future event. When the aliens return (surprise, surprise on Independance Day-again) Earth (or America) has to fight back against an emeny that is more deadly and more prepared than ever before.
Independance Day was huge box office hit back in 1996 and is looked on quite fondly by audiences. Yes it’s cheesy as hell and can be quite silly but it is also huge fun and visually very good. It also had some great actors working their asses off to make the film as good as possible. Resurgence is a huge disapointment in comparison.
Ok so it was probably never going to live up to the original movie, but I had hopes that maybe Resurgence would be an enjoyable sequel. Unfortunately returning director Roland Emmerich has sucked out all the fun from this film, instead trying to go for a tonally darker movie and added new, younger characters that are barely fleshed out beyond their sterotypes. Now I know sterotypes and cliches are practically synonymous with disaster movies but if you don’t have a sense or humour or charisma with it then it becomes a bit of a chore to watch. Actors need the charm of someone like, say Will Smith (such a pity he didn’t return-or perhaps very smart of him) to make characters like this work.
At least the movie brings back Goldblum and Pullman for the Sequel. However while Goldblum adapts better to the sequel, Pullman feels wasted. His intial scenes as the tormented and unwell former President seem interesting but he soon seems dragged down by the story. Of the new cast Travis Tope stood out-in a good way-as Charlie, the comic relief and sidekick to the dull hero Jake (Liam Hemsworth). Hemsworth normally displays a bit more personality than this in his films but seems rigid as the reckless but obviously still heroic Jake. Maika Monrow as the former President’s daughter Patricia Whitmore also seems to be phoning it in (and I know she can do much better as seen in the horror It Follows). Jessie Usher comes off the worst as Dylan the son of Will Smith character, I’m not sure if it’s the writing or his performance but Usher comes off as the most wooden of all the newbies.
It’s not just the characters that are the issue, the visuals too are not that good. I’m not sure how the movie could possibly live up to the original’s iconic scenes of blowing up the White House but I thought Resurgence would look a lot better than this. Instead so many things look so obviously CGI it’s distracting.
At the climax of the movie we can see them setting up to build a franchise for more Indpendance Day movies. All I can think is, please don’t.
(And is it just me or does the subtitle Resurgence make anyone else think it should belong to the Divergent/ Insuregnce/Alligence movies?)
Rating 2/5 -They had twenty years to write this. And this is all they could come up with.