Independence Day: Resurgence
6 / 10
- Visual effects were amazing.
- 3-D was great
- Art direction and alien tech designs were unique and interesting. I loved how it still managed to create it's own visual style for the alien races, while carefully avoiding looking like a rip off of anything we might've seen before.
- Acting for the most part was fairly decent.
- Jokes were still funny. Granted, they weren't anywhere near as funny as the original, but it still got a chuckle out of me on a few occasions.
- Cinematography was great. Loved all the rotating camera angles, during the fight sequences.
- The entire story feels like a rehash of everything that happened in the first movie, with a few scenario changes here and there to trick you into thinking it's different.
- While some of the characters might have been interesting, they're not given a lot of time to develop; unlike the first one.
- Death scenes of some of the characters are a bit underwhelming, and in some cases, it requires you to watch the first movie to even care about them dying.
In the words of my generation...UP YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Before I start my review of this movie, i would like to address the elephant in the room for a minute. When the original "Independence Day" came out, I didn't care for it to be quite honest. The plot was laughably stupid, with a lot of cliche one liners. A story packed with so many corny a** moments that it would've put even Adam West's "Batman" to shame. But over the years, the original movie has sort of grown on me.
Don't get me wrong, I still think "Independence Day" for the most part is a piece of s**t, but it's one of those it's so bad that it's actually kind of enjoyable type movies. The original "Independence Day" seemed like it knew it was a overly corny and cliche film, and it relished in that fact. Never scared to dish out the one liners, nor did it seem to be embarrassed that it was essentially an over the top popcorn summer blockbuster at best.
Sure, the movie was stupid as hell, but it was a fun adventure chalked full of action and cleverly written comedic bits. And for the most part, it was fun ride. Sadly, "Independence Day: Resurgence" suffers from the fact that Roland Emmerich still thinks that the same formula that worked in 1996 still works in 2016.
Science fiction movies have evolved since "Independence Day." It's not enough anymore to put together a half a** plot about aliens invading Earth, while showing a bunch of flashy CGI to make audiences clap their hands. Now, audiences expect more of a story now than ever before.
Back in 1996, CGI was barely coming into it's own in various films. "Independence Day" didn't have much of a story, but it had a lot of flashy CGI and special effects that were groundbreaking at the time, which was more than enough to impress audiences back in the nineties. It was like dangling a bunch of keys in front of a baby. Sure, the child would clap it's hands in awe of something shiny and new. But after a while, it becomes old. The problem with "Independence Day: Resurgence" lies in the fact that it basically rehashes the same story and formula, in a petty attempt to recapture what made the original successful. Granted, we've seen various sequels basically rip off their original films before.
In fact, "Jurassic World" even did that last year, as it's blatantly obvious it's a rip off of the original "Jurassic Park" in a lot of ways. However, the key difference between "Jurassic World" and "Independence Day: Resurgence" is the fact that "Jurassic World" did change a few things up, to at least make it feel like we were watching something fresh and nuanced. For instance. Instead of focusing on the thriller and horror aspects of the franchise, the emphasis became focused more on the action and adventure elements of the story, which made it feel like it was a fresh take on the franchise, even though the story itself was technically a rip off of the original. Whereas here, it's basically the same freaking formula that the original had, with minimal changes.
You have Jeff Goldblum playing the wide eyed scientist that's smarter than everyone else, but nobody in power gives a s**t what he has to say until the very end. Although you'd think after what happened last time, they'd at least consider his advice the FIRST TIME, but whatever. You have a bunch of uptight military a**holes that would rather blow s*** up first, and ask questions later. Just like the original movie. Brent Spiner plays the other wide eyed scientist, who's obsessed with the aliens' technology. And wouldn't you know it? Jeff is the one that hatches a scheme at the end to attack them. Cue in the Bill Pullman speech, while having him suit up AGAIN to fight these aliens in a jet. And you want to know what's even funnier? They make Bill's character seem like he's become a senile old man at this point in the future, but he's amazingly still able to take on aliens in a fighter jet. Why you may ask? Well...because it was in the first movie, so why the f**k not?
The story seems to take place twenty years after the events of the first one, as Earth's technology is more advanced than before, as they incorporated the alien technology into their defenses and space programs. However, it's a shame Roland's approach to handling movies hasn't changed though. And to make matters worse, most of the film's dramatic moments revolve around characters that you barely give a damn about because you can argue that the character development is even worse than it was in the first one. At least in the first movie, you could identify with each of the main characters, and even describe their personalities.
Here, you barely even know half of them, and the ones you do know end up dying way too soon. Sure, it sucks that Captain Hillard's parents had to die. And to make matters worse, if you didn't see the first movie, then you have no reason to care about his mom's death because the sequel spends no time developing her character. At least in the first movie, if a character died, then you were at least given enough time with them to the point that you actually gave a damn about it.
Unlike the first movie that at least had some semblance of effort, "Independence Day: Resurgence" feels like the true definition of a cash grab, as it retells you the exact same freaking story with a few minor differences here and there to make it seem like a true sequel.
Unless you're just a sucker for flashy space fight sequences, then I'd probably avoid this one at all costs. Say what you want about the original "Independence Day", but it was one of those fun corny movies that knew how show it's audience a good time. Whereas "Independence Day: Resurgence", it feels more like the geeky kid in class pretending to be cool to impress girls, but everyone can clearly see he's nothing more than a poser trying to be something he's not. That's what "Independence Day: Resurgence" feels like to me, and it's sad because I usually don't expect much from Emmerich films to begin with...
© 2016 Steven Daniels