I’ll let you into a secret – Independence Day is probably a film I watched more than any other film. In total, I must have seen it at least twenty times – possibly more! In fact, there was a time when I was watching it every single day! For a long time it was my favourite film – but then I grew up!
But is all seriousness, Independence Day is a fun film. Over the top and cheesy yeah – but it did take itself too seriously and the special effects were pretty awesome. Not to mention the characters were done just well enough to like them – Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum stole the show by far with their double act. Independence Day for me is a film that you can just shut your brain off and enjoy the ride. But did it need a sequel?
Apparently, Hollywood thought so – and that’s where Independence Day Resurgence comes into it. Set twenty years after the events of the first film, the aliens return to kick some human butt. Que high budget effects and lots of explosions!
I went to see this film with my brother at the cinema, knowing full well that it wasn’t gonna be a great film – but I was just hoping it had the same fun factor as the first one. And boy was I disappointed.
The first Independence Day was mindless fun – Independence Day Resurgence is just mindless!
Seriously, the first words out of my mouth after leaving the cinema was “What the **** is this ****?”
Where do I even begin? Firstly, the first half an hour (whilst we wait for the aliens to come) is just so boring! I never thought 30 mins could go so slowly. We are introduced to the old characters from the first film (great to see Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum back – even if they both seem completely confused as to why they were there), and some new characters – which I didn’t really much care for. One of them is the son of Will Smith’s character – but he certainly didn’t have his charm and wit. And we are introduced to the new President – a female President (foreshadowing maybe?) and a few other characters. Then the aliens arrive and things get crazy.
Now I will admit, the special effects when the aliens destroy a city by lifting it into the air and causing a waterfall is awesome! It looks really apocalyptic and a lot of attention went into it. Shame the same can’t be said about the story (I’ll get to that). And as for the fight scenes, they are so chaotic and overblown that I felt I was watching a Michael Bay film!
The most of the movie is a pretty standard affair – but the writers didn’t seem to make any effort in small things, like making the characters likeable or have personalities. The new heroes are what I like to call “cut and paste” heroes – in that you can take them from this film and pretty much put them in any other film and they would have the same effect. Honestly, I forgot their names most of the time (and I still struggle to remember them now without looking them up). Not only this, but there are a number of plot twists you can see coming a mile away – and even some elements that just get brought up and then dropped until later. For example, there is one bit where one of the male characters tries to get with one of the female characters (because what says great story telling than awkward chat up scenes?). They share about two conversations with each other, and then at the end it’s suddenly resolved. And then there are the group of kids – what was the point in them being in the movie again? Oh yes, so that we could have a creepy moment with Judd Hirsch, that’s why!
There was ONE story I did kinda like though – and that was involving Dr Okun from the first film (nope apparently he wasn’t dead). He was pretty fun to watch and his storyline with him and his – nurse/carer I think, had an interesting conclusion that was handled really well.
Independence Day was known for its cheesiness, but it was still a fun film. Mostly because it had a lot of good humour and witting lines from Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch to keep it going. Here the humour just feels forced – and whilst there are some funny moments, they are few and far between.
Next thing that got me was the fact that the humans have alien technology on their side here, having learned to use it after the battle with the aliens. This I wasn’t too sure of. One of the things I loved about Independence Day was the human technology versus alien technology – and how we seemed vastly outnumbered at the beginning (until we gave them a computer virus). Here though, it seems to lessen the impact when the humans seem to have just as powerful weapons as their enemies. Sure they have pretty hardcore weapons too, but even so, it doesn’t quite have the same impact.
And finally *sigh*, the way it just hammers in the overall message. More than once it mentions how all the countries have come together due to the war with the aliens and it is a world of peace. This wouldn’t be so bad – but they REALLY hammer it in so much. Ok! We get it! The world would be a better place if we put our differences aside – but you COULD be a bit more subtle about that!
Independence Day was a silly film, but it didn’t take itself too seriously and it had a good cast to carry the humour across and make you avoid the cheesiness. Independence Day Resurgence is a dull slop of a film that has about 20 minutes of cool stuff, but the rest is just dull, dull, dull. And the ending is just obvious sequel bait – and let’s hope they NEVER do that.
Sorry guys, I wanted to say I enjoyed this film, but it was just bad. And not even “so bad it’s good” like the first film – it’s just bad. Is it the worst film ever made? Probably not – but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna let it pass!
Celebrate your Independence Day by keeping yourself independent from this film! If you have a spare two hours, give this film a wide berth. There are better things you can be doing with your time.
Independence Day Resurgence gets 1.5 out of 5.