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Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review
"Am I sure this isn't a Michael Bay movie?" That's what I kept asking myself throughout the showing of Independence Day: Resurgence. You'd think 20 years would be long enough to perfect a sequel to one of the most iconic films of the 90s, but, sadly, I was mistaken in thinking so. Most of the original cast returns, except for Will Smith of course. Would it have been better if Will had reprised his role? The answer is probably not. He actually might have dodged a bullet by turning this film down, greedy as he may have seemed.
First, I'll tell you the positives. The positives are that the plot is decent, the setup is terrific, and the final battle is fantastic. What are the downsides? The downsides are that the story told in between action sequences is lacking substance and emotion, and that the movie is just one huge setup for Independence Day 3. Oh, you didn't know about part 3? Yep, it's coming, and I hope it's better than part 2.
What really bothered me above everything was the lack of emotion. There are many deaths in the film, even more so than the original, but I didn't feel any sense of loss. Several key characters, I might add, were either killed or sacrificed themselves and no grief was felt by neither me nor the characters in the film.
Another problem factor is the fact that the dialogue was choppy and cheesy. David (Jeff Goldblum) was insanely smart in the first and was the reason the plan worked in the first place. Now, in the sequel, he's warning everyone that somethings's a trap or that the President should not authorize this, but to no avail. What, did everyone suddenly forget David single-handedly figured everything out and devised a plan to stop the aliens the first go round? Apparently so, because everyone (literally, everyone) went against David's suggestions and predictably failed. And what happened to David's love interest in the first? That plot hole was never explained but was scraped over with a new love interest who has literally no introduction.
That brings us to the explanation of Will Smith's character from the previous film, Captain Steven Hiller. Why is he not around? Apparently, he was killed during a test flight. Really? The most talented pilot on the Air Force who, might I add, flew an alien spaceship into the belly of the beast and escaped by the skin of his teeth was killed in a test flight. Boy, when someone tells Roland Emmerich "no", he makes them pay for it.
The new additions did very well considering what they were working with in terms of script. Jessie T. Usher played Dylan Hiller, the son of Steven Hiller, who has become a pilot just like his dad. Jessie did a great job imitating Will Smith's actions and movements and looked exactly like him in many scenes. Thumbs up to Emmerich for choosing a truly great actor to fill Will's shoes. The other new young arrival is Jake Morrison, played by Liam Hemsworth, who is also a pilot and is engaged to former President Whitmore's daughter Patricia as played by Maika Monroe. The third new addition worth noting is General-turned-President Adams as played by William Fichtner. Fichtner was already one of my favorite actors and is a bright spot in an overall dull film.
There were several noteworthy scenes, one of which is when we see that aliens have trapped several pilots and forced them into an arena for hunting practice. It was a brief scene that resembled both The Hunger Games and The Purge: Anarchy. Most of the film is completely predictable, however, which really hurts the good scenes.
The effects were astounding. I do have to give credit in that department. The true standout moment of the entire film was the Queen. Her look and size made her truly frightening and without a doubt the best part of the film.
In conclusion, I have to say that it's not a complete waste of time and resources and is quite entertaining as an action movie. I just expected there to be more depth and emotion than what was present. If you're having a lazy Sunday, then sure, go see it and have some fun. But if you're looking for the next blockbuster, wait a month for Jason Bourne.
© 2016 Alec Zander