Independence Day Resurgence (ID42?) won’t be remembered for its intelligent plot, witty dialogue, or groundbreaking story but, then again, neither will the first Independence Day. Like the first movie, Independence Day Resurgence is big, loud, and stupid but, unlike Independence Day, Resurgence is lacking in the fun department that made ID4 a joy to sit through.
Twenty years after the “War of 1996,” the Earth has rebuilt itself, unified, and fortified and are coming together to mark the anniversary of the invasion so, of course, its the perfect time for those darned aliens to return with their landmark destroying lasers and pretty much screw up everyone’s day.
For a movie that features, among other things, a spaceship the size of Asia landing on the planet and the massive destruction that goes along with it because its had its own gravitational field (That’s not how gravity works. That’s not how any of this works!), Resurgence is surprisingly light on the wow factor. Remember how Los Angeles, The White House, and The Empire State Building were all wiped out and how it took your breath away? No moment in Resurgence comes close to that level of shock and awe… and that’s speaking for a movie that blows its proverbial load early on and never comes close to that load level again… when the bar is already set on disappointment, it can’t go much lower.
For all of its negatives, you’ve at least got to credit Resurgence with not merely rehashing the plot from the first movie. Now, they’re doing a real mustache-twirling doozy about aliens trying to steal the molten core of the planet for a power source which is… I’m not sure what it is. There’s also a bit about an alien queen, so at least they’re rehashing the plot of other movies than rehashing their own.
The truth is, through the entire movie, we keep hearing all these bits and pieces about the aftermath of the War of 1996, about how Guerrilla fighters were battling aliens in the Congo for years and how the world rebuilt and, to be honest… that sounds like a much more interesting movie to me. I hate it when that happens… when the better idea for a movie is accidentally skipped over for something else.
We’re introduced to the new generation of heroes and I can’t remember a single one of their names. I’m going to call them Thor’s Brother, Not Will Smith, and Girl. They are all terribly written and, if a one of them turned up dead, I wouldn’t have cared. Bill Pulman is back as President Witmore, now suffering from psychic PTSD from his close encounter with the alien’s brain-minds, and Jeff Goldblum returns as Levinson and, to be honest, these were the only two I really cared about. I thought I would like Brent Spiner returning as Doctor Okun, but he was just so irritating in this movie. Even Julius returns for some reason because, I guess, someone was needed to call people “shmucks.”
I suppose my biggest problem with this film is that too much inconsequential garbage is crammed into its runtime while the little moments are ignored and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s the little moments that are important. Giving characters a chance to breath or mourn was important in the first movie even if it was just one little thirty second scene. ID4 wasn’t exactly known as a well written movie, but it at least knew how to take breathers. I’m not kidding, folks, in this movie someone will lose someone important to them and then, in the very next scene, they’re excited and jumping around with a smile on their face. Crumbs, if they don’t give a darn, why should we?
I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a horrible movie because, honestly, even if it is a hollow shell of its predecessor, it still has some fun action and special effects sequences and does have some interesting world-building going on. That’s the problem, though… the world building looked a lot more interesting than the world-exploding.