The first time around reviewing Independence Day: Resurgence, I gave it a C under my newly formed grading rubric. Now since over a year had passed, my system went through a lot of changes to go through each criterion more in depth. In revisiting this sequel, boy let me tell you—I fully understand the hate now!
First, the good stuff: The intense spaceship entrance measures half the size of Earth and looks real cool.
Okay, now here comes the hard truth: The innumerable subplots jar the senses in each messy scene arrangement, giving nobody the screen time they deserve. It in turn destroys any sense of dramatic buildup to the climactic moments, diminished further by the forced unnecessary romantic side plots. Jeff Goldblum returns, his moments poorly continued from last time, while the clueless writers throw in other characters at random, such as people in a boat who only exist to establish already established details.
Yes, a dumb sci-fi flick seldom tries to make sense, it just needs to be fun, right? Well, it still needs limits. To start: How can an alien function a human gun after seeing one for the first time? What motivated the aliens’ attack? Why is nobody afraid about the extraterrestrials? Why is a man perfectly somber after a 7,300-day coma? (Divide that number by 365 and it equals 20; lazy much?) What about the religious groups who would expectedly react against apocalyptic chaos? If this many questions pop up about a film’s logic, the fun goes away fast.
The alternate 2016 society looks fake too, it might have enthralled if the frigid designs looked cool in the first place, but instead, a flight of boredom overcrams moving objects into the screen without a central focus point. The excessive CGI further wrecks the atmosphere, leaving instead a distasteful experience.
The intended classic sensation of a summer blockbuster lacks presence here, because since the whole image right away looks overwhelmingly epic, the mother ship’s first major city obliteration bleaks in intensity. By the end, beats copy Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope along to a horribly muted version of the original’s heroic theme.
Not even the cast seems able to decide whether a written line intended to be funny or serious, so their speaking instead comes off as ridiculously over the top in its drama. Plus, neither of the original’s big players’ familiar appeal returns: Jessie T. Usher lacks Will Smith’s charm, the only good part of the original, and Jeff Goldblum can’t shine past the awful youth-decreasing tan foundation on his face.
Although, a deeper issue stretches beyond the usual. Resurgence‘s attempts to celebrate gender equality falls into the old trap of masculine heroes trying to successfully land one on the girl. Ultimately, the young people, each surpassing average standards in appearance, save the baby boomers from the alien invaders.
White people take up the most amount of the script, which supposedly celebrates global union despite the way it stereotypes the Chinese, Buddhists, and Africans (seen only wearing terrorist clothes). Native Americans lived here first, so why do they receive little respect alongside the British invaders? Heck, what about the Indians, Muslims and Mexicans? I mean, other countries get some representation, London rises in smithereens like the last movie when America’s great landmarks were the ones at victim, yet no Taj Mahal or any other non-White country landmarks appear here.
The script pretends to know its intention by rambling on about philosophical ideas, except what does it say about politicians? Nothing! What does it say about citizenship? Nothing! What does it say about immigrants? Nothing! If it says, “we’re all one people despite race,” why only depict America as the hero? Apparently, America still seems to think of itself as the greatest country in the world, since it mastered churning up millions of dollars with cinematic crap like this.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
"Independence Day" (1996) President's Address to the U.S. Fighter Pilots. American Rhetoric. Microsoft. Web. <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechindependenceday.html>.
Independence Day: Resurgence. Fox Movies. Web. <http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/independence-day-resurgence>.
Lambie, Ryan. Roland Emmerich interview: Independence Day Resurgence. DenOfGeek. Dennis Publishing, 22 Jun 2016. Web. <http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/roland-emmerich/41605/roland-emmerich-interview-independence-day-resurgence>.
Park, Andrea. Watch the new trailer for "Independence Day: Resurgence". Digital image. CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 14 Dec 2015. Web. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/watch-the-new-trailer-for-independence-day-resurgence/>.