Film Review: ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Starring Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, and Jessie Usher
Truth be told, it’s just tough to develop any sort of emotional response to the film other than incredulity. Newcomer Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Hiller are supposed to be former friends attempting to reconcile in the film, but their lines (along with the delivery) are just so stiff and boring, you don’t find any attachment to them like you did with Hiller and Levinson in the first film. The new technology the ESD forces have remove the frantic, desperate defense feeling the original movie had when all they had was existing technology hopelessly going up against far more advanced alien technology.
(One interesting note is that although the aliens and their environmental suits look relatively the same, their spaceship design is radically different 20 years later, even though in the original movie, their spacecraft looked identical to the one that crashed in Roswell 50 years earlier. This despite the fact that the mother ship notionally received the original distress signal back in 1996. Did they wait like 19.5 years before answering the call? Are all the fleets of different designs? Did the effects team lose the original spaceship files and had to create new CGI ones? We’ll never know.)
I wanted to like this movie. I really did. Even despite all the negative things I’d read about it, I went in hoping nostalgia would help cover the film’s deficiencies, but the film’s flaws are just too great to ignore. Whereas the first was a fun, near-mindless sci-fi action romp, Resurgence removes the fun from the equation and replaces it with impressive visual effects and mostly groan-worthy comedic attempts. The feeble attempts at showing the theme of unification around the globe are an afterthought. The ending of the film is left wide open for a sequel, but it’s hard to imagine drumming up enough support for a third installment, unless this film is wildly successful overseas.
Maybe I’m being too harsh on it. For a light summer blockbuster, it does provide a few good moments of humor and some solid action sequences. But this isn’t a steak from Fleming’s. It’s not even a double from Steak ‘n Shake. This is just a plain old hamburger from McDonald’s: it’ll get you by if you’re desperately hungry, but odds are it’ll leave you wanting more.
Independence Day: Resurgence gets a D.