Some sequels come out 20+ years after their original, and it’s really a 50/50 shot at success. For every Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there’s also a Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Jurassic World. In some cases, it was just too little too late, and that is the absolute best way I can describe Independence Day: Resurgence. The first film, starring Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Will Smith in a break out role, is one of the best action films of the 90s, and is remembered fondly by almost everyone, so with the announcement of the second one came a lot of excitement and a lot of groaning. Did it live up to the original’s legacy?
No. Not even close.
Here’s the plot of this film: The aliens come back, and they’re bigger. No word of a lie, that is the entire plot. We have Jeff Goldblum returning for that paycheck, and in all fairness, he’s the best thing about the film, though sadly, no good things can be said for the rest of the cast. Bill Pullman offers one of his worst performances ever, Maika Monroe is an ambitious but poor addition to the cast (You know, Mae Whitman is still an actress, she could have easily played the President’s daughter again), Liam Hemsworth is still not Chris Hemsworth, and Will Smith’s character died in a fucking training simulation before the events of the film. But it’s okay, because we have his son, and he’s not played by Jaden! Though you’ll wish he was when Jessie T. Usher’s total lack of charisma sucks the life out of you. Harsh, I know, but trust me, it’s going to get worse.
Independence Day: Resurgence is the cinematic personification of an eye roll; it’s a film rooted in cliches, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but when they’re used as horribly as they are in this film, it’s completely a bad thing. It’s just total stupidity from start to end, and one of the most mind boggling films of the year. Not in the sense that it’s really clever and you can’t work it out, in the sense that you can’t work out why the hell his was even made. So much about this film is completely baffling, and completely impossible to explain, like Jeff Goldblum’s Dad (who did not need to be in this film whatsoever) remarkably surviving a devastating series of natural disasters and then taking over a school bus full of children who add nothing to the film.
You just have no idea why anything is happening, and whilst the effects are quite frankly stunning, this is just a very big, very messy explosion fest with horrible characters who made horrible decisions and have horrible dialogue, very poor humour (Including, but not limited to, a joke about Brent Spiner’s arse. Oh yeah, he’s back too. Turns out you didn’t miss him), exposition dumps in every other scene, and a total lack of engaging material, tied together with an infuriating and forced push for another sequel. Sure, the first film was big and cheesy, but it did it very right. This film gets everything wrong, even down to the way it treats certain characters. The way they handled President Whitmore in this film was atrocious, and totally disrespectful to one of the greatest movie presidents of all time.
Kudos to Jeff Goldblum and the special effects team, otherwise, Independence Day Resurgence is one of the absolute worst films of the year, and possibly one of the worst sequels ever made.
Independence Day: Resurgence is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!