So, 20 years ago, a little movie called Independence Day came out and it was a huge success. It’s become kind of a “classic” for a lack of a better term. Now, Independence Day was released a year after I was born but I did initially watch it when I was like 6 or so. I thought it was a good movie then. I did get to re-watch it just a couple of weeks ago since they were showing it on cable and I still enjoyed it quite a bit. But, as I got to watch it with an adult mindset, I did recognize that it’s a incredibly dumb movie with a lot of flaws and storytelling gaffes. Still a pretty fun movie, though.
And it’s a good thing they were showing it because, today, they released its sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence in theaters. Coincidence? I don’t think so! I do wonder why they decided not to release Independence Day: Resurgence on the 4th of July like the first movie? Ehh… who cares! Let’s just go watch this sucker!
Since the movie was just released and I know a lot of you haven’t seen the movie and probably don’t want to know any details about the film, let me reassure you that this will be a totally SPOILER FREE review of Independence Day: Resurgence! If you really just want to know what to expect from the movie, here’s the long and the short of it: if you liked the first Independence Day, you’re going to like Independence Day: Resurgence as well. It’s filled with all of the same flaws of the original but it’s still a fun 2-hour thrill ride! But, if you want a little more detail than that, read on!
In Independence Day: Resurgence, 20 years have passed since the alien invasion and Earth has been living in peace for all that time. Humans have managed to successfully integrated most of the alien tech for our use and also upgraded our space defense and have formed the Earth Space Defense program just in case of another invasion. However, the aliens were able to send a distress beacon to a fellow alien squadron and now the aliens are back… and a little more prepared of what we Earthlings can do.
Like I said, this movie is a dumb movie but it’s the best dumb movie that it can be. The writers seem to put together a script that was so simple, even a kid could understand what’s going on so don’t expect to be intellectually challenged by the plot. With that being said, it is kind of refreshing to just watch a movie without having to concentrate on what’s the motivation of which character or why did that character do that. If you do, you’re probably going to hate this movie because some of the actions of most people here don’t really make much sense!
The acting throughout the entire 2-hour run of Independence Day: Resurgence is just okay. You’re not going to get any Oscar-caliber acting here but there’s nothing here that would deserve a Razzie as well. Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as David Levinson and he’s… Jeff Goldblum. The guy knows what’s expected of him and he delivers a performance that’s very Jeff Goldblum-ish. Honestly, he pretty much delivers all of his performances in the same way, doesn’t he? Then again, I’ve yet to watch The Fly…
The old cast actually do a good job of getting back to their roles in the first movie. Bill Pullman is older but still the grizzled air force veteran who commands respect, Brent Spiner is still the overly excited scientist (a far cry from his performance as the android Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Judd Hirsch still manages to play the doting, somewhat clueless father to Jeff Goldblum’s character. They do a fine job but don’t expect them to display any strong emotional range here. However, I do have to say Brent Spiner manages to steal every scene he’s in by virtue of being the most eccentric character in the film once again. He’s still a hoot and a half to watch as he stumbles around acting like the stereotypical absent-minded professor.
Moving on to the new cast, they also pull of okay performances. However, it’s like they’re never really the focus of the film. As such, it’s like they’re there and they do play an integral part in the story but Independence Day: Resurgence is still a movie about the old guard instead of the next generation. But I think it’s for the better since every one of the young characters have to fill in an action movie trope. There’s the cocky pilot. There’s cocky pilot’s rival who has no-nonsense attitude with a legacy to live up to. There’s the doting daughter who gave up her dream to be a pilot to take care of her ailing father. The list goes on! And, by the way, each and every one of them looked like they fell out of a Benetton ad! I guess the aliens managed to kill off all the ugly humans during the first attack and only the pretty ones survived?
The movie actually feels like there’s too many people to keep track of and, because of this, there are a lot of characters that could’ve been cut out. The story feels pretty bloated at times and, yet, like they needed more time to focus on the backstories of these characters. A lot of the “old” new characters just come out of nowhere and we’re supposed to know who they are even if they weren’t in the first movie! But, as I said, everyone’s character is pretty simple and you just have to go with the flow.
Thankfully, Roland Emmerich, the man behind the first movie as well as this one, knows you don’t come to watch his movies for the deep plot and character development. You come to watch a Roland Emmerich movie to see dumb action setpieces. And, on that aspect, Independence Day: Resurgence doesn’t disappoint! There’s a lot of death and destruction once the gigantic alien ship arrives and the movie is totally unapologetic with throwing convenient plot twists, stupid dialogue and just plain silliness in the hopes of making the movie more fun.
Even though the movie is incredibly dumb and predictable, it never gets insulting. It never resorts to lowbrow humor like fart jokes to lighten the mood. The movie never feels overly dark and gritty as there is a lighthearted feel with everything as characters make wisecracks or at incredibly unprofessional even when they should be scared witless. Every thing is done in service of making the movie fun. However, it’s nothing that you haven’t seen before. It’s a typical paint-by-numbers Roland Emmerich movie, filled with explosions that fill the screen, action setpieces that try to overload your fun receptors and plot and characters so predictable you know what’s going to happen way before they do.
But that’s what made the movie fun! I know a lot of people who go see Independence Day: Resurgence will leave the theater disappointed because it’s an incredibly stupid, silly movie that never tries to challenge the viewer with a deep thought. I guess the best way to enjoy Independence Day: Resurgence is to go watch the movie as if you were 20 years younger… or around the same age you were when you watched the first Independence Day. If you can watch the movie as your younger self, you’re going to have a blast watching Independence Day: Resurgence. If you can’t do that, well, that’s your loss.
Have you seen Independence Day: Resurgence? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!