Thursday, July 7, 2016

Independence Day Resurgence Review: A Tragedy 20 Years in the Making!

In 1996 the world of film was taken by storm with the massive blockbuster Independence Day. Directed by Roland Emmerich the summer film brought a fight across the stars as Earth would be devastated by a major intergalactic invasion. To this day this flick is regarded as a favorite to moviegoers with the 90's film helping to cement the idea of a summer blockbuster. For years a sequel to the film has been talked about, but it seemed that a continuation to the hit film would simply remain in development hell. However that would not be the case as hitting the scene this season is Independence Day: Resurgence. Once again directed by Roland Emmerich, Resurgence would take place 20 years after the first film and feature the next round between humankind and the invading force. After such a gap between Independence Day and its successor, one could only imagine just how Resurgence would play out; but was this film 20 years in the making?

Independence Day: Resurgence takes place on the anniversary of the war. As humanity looks to honor the day David Levison (Jeff Goldblum) discovers that a signal from a disabled alien ship reached deep space to contact the remaining alien forces. Sure enough the aliens return and in a much bigger force. To face this threat a new batch of heroes like Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), Dylan Dubrow-Hiller (Jessie Usher) and Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe) must band together to face this returning enemy before they can destroy the inhabitants.

The first film's plot is guilty of a lot of things. While the story to Independence Day could be entertaining, I cannot deny that the plot behind the massive blockbuster has not stood the test of time as it suffers from many storytelling errors. Yet while it is flawed, the tale behind Independence Day does have a sense of enjoyment to it. I cannot say the same about the plot to Resurgence. Not only does this so called plot have enough plot holes to sink a ship, but the tale behind this sequel lacks any sense of intrigue or entertainment. The movie tries to bring new elements to the story of Independence Day and, in concept, these ideas have some bearing to them. However the plot's execution lacks any substance as even the new revelations were twists that I could care less about. The story also tries to have the likes of subplots like featuring David's father Julius (Judd Hirsch) on a roadtrip with a bunch of kids. To say this that this subplot was unnecessary may be the understatement of the year as it added nothing to the overall story. There was nothing redeemable about this story as its grand scale conflict was reduced to two hours of blandness.

The cast to this film was no saving grace either. While the movie featured talented actors such as Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Sela Ward and Brent Spiner, the massive ensemble lacked anything when it came to presence. Liam Hemsworth does the best he can as the hot-shot pilot Jake, but his character felt like nothing more than a generic action hero. The same thing can be said about Maika Monroe as Patricia Whitmore. Monroe's past work has been acceptable but the lack of dimension in the former first daughter gives Monroe nothing to work with leaving her with a lackluster performance. Jessie Usher as the new Captain Hiller was simply bland and nothing more. To makes matters worse was the entourage of supporting character. This group of character had two purposes: be irritating or just fill up space. Even established characters like David and President Whitmore offered nothing to the film. The cast to this film lack any kind of depth to point where it seemed plausible to root for the aliens-but even the villains were underwhelming.

Independence Day was know for its sense of spectacle by featuring out of this world effects. However many years have past since that the film's release and many blockbuster have brought a new meaning to the term spectacle. Perhaps Independence Day: Resurgence could follow in its predecessor's footsteps and use the likes of visual effects to the best of their ability. Unfortunately this sequel does anything but bring a new meaning to movie magic. This is not to say that the effects to Resurgence were bad, but then again there was nothing glamorous about them either. The effects to Resurgence were rather standard and barely featured any creative moments. The action was not much better. The film may be a summer blockbuster but the action lacked any excitement to it as this factor just meshed together rest of the mediocrity to this sequel. The score was alright but it did not feature any tracks or themes that stood to me (all but the main title from the first movie). These technical elements were a shining example of Roland Emmerich's spotty direction. The movie features some interesting concepts (like what Earth having advance technology) but Emmerich barely did anything with the ideas; which led to a world that had lack any substance.

Independence Day: Resurgence is the epitome of poor filmmaking. In just about every aspects this blockbuster adds nothing to the movie world, or even to the lore that was established in 1996. To make matters worse this so called blockbuster is not even enjoyable. The film's sense of entertainment and spectacle is so underwhelming that this sequel feels like a waste of time. While there was some potential in this sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence is a movie that should have stayed buried in Development Hell.

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