independence day resurgence

Lacking Willpower? A 60 second review of Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

“They like to get the landmarks.”

I heard this was bad but…wow. Independence Day: Resurgence is truly an assault on not just our senses, but on the wonderful memories we hold over the first film and its brilliant blend of cheese and suspense. I don’t think Will Smith’s presence would have come close to saving this movie, but his absence seems to be sorely felt among the original’s fandom.

Set 20 years after the events of the first film, the human race has rallied together and, using a mix of leftover alien technology as well as our own, have created a world that reaches out and explores, as well as keeps one beady eye on the sky for any future invasions.

It seems the alien attack of 1996 has left us even more paranoid than usual, and only with the help of new faces and old (some of which have aged better than others), can we defend ourselves again from what is pretty much the same plot as the first film.

What I liked…

Always good to see Jeff Goldblum, although he is no doubt heavily phoning it in here. Liam Hemsworth also looks like he is enjoying himself. Brent Spiner is entertaining, but he has the unfortunate task of acting in some of the most atrociously-written scenes in the movie. The moment he wakes from a coma is the moment the film moved from poor to laughable for me.

The effects are good, no doubt. But considering the film has had twenty years to get this right, it’s still far off the mark and lacks any imagery that stays with you like the first film.

(Struggling here) There’s a giant ball-alien-thing that is quite interesting to look at.  Until it becomes another plot device that amounts to nothing.

What I disliked…

This might sound a bit of a “filmy” reason to hate on Independence Day: Resurgence, but I found the editing so overly aggressive and rushed. I could count the number of shots that last more than five seconds on one hand, it just kept chopping the film to pieces giving me no time to breathe. It would be OK if it was all needed, but I can think of a number of characters, let alone the scenes they were in, that could be completely removed and discarded (I’m looking at you, busload of children doing nothing whatsoever).

Pandering to Chinese audiences. This happened on several occasions, including product placement, mandarin lessons and a scene where a giant ship comes over Hong Kong and its own gravity, due to its size, tears up the streets and buildings. This “own gravity” thing was actually a good idea but the writers decided not to continue it throughout the rest of the movie and seconds later we see plenty of instances where nothing surrounding the ship is affected by its so called “gravity”. This is just one example of the film’s relentless inconsistency.

The movie is so overloaded with pointless dialogue among obsolete characters that it is a wonder that they didn’t put the brakes on this train before it became the proverbial wreck that it is. With so many characters the film quickly becomes a conveyor belt of spoken and visual plot exposition. Some of the cast, Will Smith’s “son” for one, deliver their lines with such a lack of direction it moves into the realm of “straight-to-video”.

They messed up Bill Pullman’s “speech”, if you consider that there even was one. Everything you loved about the first film is taken away and bastardised. In its place we are given a host of tired sci-fi cliches, repetitive tropes and pathetic attempts to recapture the magic of ID1. The cloak in Dr Strange has more personality than the entirety of this film, no exaggeration.

Shapstik Verdict

I have only touched on what is wrong with Resurgence. Its writing, editing, acting and direction are nothing short of appalling. In fact, I’m not quite sure how they managed to mess this up with such totality. Sometimes a movie can be saved despite its flaws, with a sense of fun, or at least with some good performances from a stalwart actor or two. But Resurgence is so bland and flat that it dulls your senses so you can’t even manage to laugh at its disgracefulness. You might find someone that will defend its visual accomplishments, but even the most rose-tinted of glasses has not stopped people universally disliking this film. I am starting to feel sorry for those that defended Suicide Squad, at least that had Will Smith. 2/10

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