(Note from the editor: I have a bunch of reviews that I wrote a while ago but for one reason or another never saw the light of day so I’ve decided to empty my review vault and throw out what I have left over. So for the next couple of weeks, enjoy the reviews of some old movies, starting with the fantastic sequel to the greatest movies from the 1990s.)
It seems 2016 is the year of odd sequels and reboots that nobody wanted, and while Ghostbusters is the reason why reboots get a bad name, 10 Cloverfield Lane had the opposite effect. Yes, I understand that it wasn’t necessarily a reboot of Cloverfield, but it did show what a reboot should be; looking at a new story in the old universe rather than taking the old story and giving it a makeover. So getting back on track. Independence Day: Resurgence is the sequel to the 1996 film that was one of those “it’s so bad and dumb that you can’t help but like it.” So does the sequel recapture the spirit of the original or is it just bad?
Story: The story picks up 20 years after the events of the first. Just as Earth is celebrating the achievement of not-dying, the aliens come back bigger and badder and force our heroes to come up with some new crazy way to save the day. While this is pretty predictable, it is ok because that is what everyone expects and why we want to see it. The movie trips up when trying to add more to the mix; they go into the backstory of the aliens and what they have done to other planets. While this sounds like a good thing, I promise you it’s not. It takes away from the intrigue and mystery of the enemy and breaks it down to an entirely predictable bad guy, and as a fan of the original, it just made me sad and bored.
Acting: The acting is average. Bringing back Bill Pullman to play President Whitmore is a nice touch but it might have been better without him. Same can be said for Judd Hirsh and Brent Spiner. They don’t really add anything except for nostalgia. However, Jeff Goldblum is the one redeeming factor of the movie. His character speaks on behalf of the audience most of times (i.e. the “aliens always go for the monuments and/or landmarks” joke from the trailer). It made me wish the movie was more about him rather than Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher, who are both so cliched, it makes me want to break things.
Presentation: While the shots of the moon and earth (errffffffff) are very pretty, the alien ships and technology is just excessive. Some of the action scenes just look like a deadly rave and remind me of the beginning of Revenge of the Sith (which is not a good thing in case you were wondering). It made me wish this movie was made before Y2K because maybe the effects would be a bit more in reality.
Effect: As I said earlier, this movie goes back and forth between trying to relive the spirit of the original and trying to add its own flare to the mix, and this creates a very “blah” film. There are some good scenes but if there is ever a sequel where I wish I was watching the original, then something is wrong.
Other: Despite earning for the movie of my childhood, I found myself quite engaged for the duration of the film. I know that sounds stupid considering I just said I was missing the first film while watching it but hear me out. While this film does not live up to the original, it is not a bad film. In fact, I’d say it’s better than some of the recent sci-fi movies I’ve seen recently. It is definitely a good movie to enjoy with your bros.
Overall, the story does more bad than good in trying to add more to the independence day universe (as odd as that sounds), and while this is not a good movie, it is still a halfway decent movie to see and enjoy. Not to the same level as the original, but hey it’s better than most sci-fi movies.