Independence Day Resurgence: 20 Years Too Late?

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Independence Day (ID4) has to be one of my favourite films of all time. It came out the year I was born, it’s one of the first films I can remember watching and loving. This won’t be a review on Independence Day, that might come some other time, this will be a review on the sequel and the question which I’m still wrestling with now, 24 hours after watching the film, is it good?

Independence Day: Resurgence is directed by Roland Emmerich (2012, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) and stars, returning cast members of ID4, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Cats and Dogs) as David Levinson, Bill Pullman (Torchwood, Casper) as President Whitmore, Judd Hirsch (Taxi, A Beautiful Mind) as Julius Levinson and Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Doctor Okun. The film also introduces new cast members such as Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, The Expendables 2) as Jake Morrison, Jessie T. Usher (When The Game Stands Tall) as Dylan Hiller and Maika Monroe (It Follows, The Guest) as Patricia Whitmore – with the latter two actors being the second actors to play their respective characters with the child actors from ID4 not being brought back to reprise their role.

Now, I’m going to get this out of the way quickly. This film should not be taken seriously. If you want a serious film go and see Me Before You, do not go into Independence Day: Resurgence expecting a serious down-to-earth realistic movie. It is one of the most cliche-ridden, cheesy and action packed alien invasion films I have seen since the first Independence Day and for that reason alone is why I really like this film.

Okay, so, some of the acting in this film isn’t the best. I felt Liam Hemsworth was just there for the pay check and the film really missed the presence of a charismatic character like Will Smith in the original. However, the acting from the returning cast was impeccable. Jeff Goldblum delivers every line with charm and wit we’re used to from him  and he seems genuinely loving every moment of being back with this franchise. This performance from him makes me really hope he makes a return for Jurassic World 2. The second amazing performance, again from a returning cast member, was that of Bill Pullman. Bill Pullman plays President Whitmore still suffering the effects of encountering the aliens the first time and just him being there constantly reminds you of that amazing inspirational speech he delivers in the first time, which of course is referenced. Ultimately, Pullman doesn’t get enough screen time and I feel as if his character was wasted at the end of the movie which is a real shame.

A good note for this film, however, is the action set pieces. The alien ship landing on the side of the earth, destroying major cities, just like the first film, looks incredible and I really felt in awe of the destruction. Admittedly, it wasn’t done as well as the original Independence Day did the destruction with the light beams destroying each landmark, but you really felt the worldwide scale of destruction when the ship lands. As well as this, the alien dog fights are very well choreographed but the mixture of alien and human technology does mean it can get slightly confusing as to who’s who when these scenes take place.

Now. On to the bad. This may seem like a lot, but despite these flaws i still enjoyed the movie. First up, a technical issue. The CGI and Green Screen wasn’t the best. And like i said early, this is a cheesy movie, I’m not expecting it to have great CGI – hell, even the first one had a huge painting of Air Force one outside the hanger. But the green screen in the movie is very very obvious and not done well. However, the alien prosthetic’s and animation looks incredibly realistic and you feel as if they are real aliens.

As well as the technical issues, i did have an issue with one plot line. Over all the plot is a fairly standard alien invasion movie except this time we have more of a chance because we know what we’re fighting. But, the issue I have is with Judd Hirsch’s character and his story line. At the start of the film, he’s on his boat when it gets hit by a tidal wave caused by the alien ship, as he’s trying to flee the wave he’s on the phone to his son (Goldblum) and he gets cut off in what is an emotional moment as you know there was no way he could have survived (combined with the tidal wave, he also seems to be crushed by shipping containers from another boat). But, just 20 minutes later a car full of children come across him, alive, hanging from his boat on top of a house in flooded water. There was no need for this. He had his cameo, he kids added nothing to the story. Every time the film came back to him and the kids it just slowed down the pacing. I feel as if it was unnecessary and was just included to push the film to its 2 hour run time.

Okay, I’ve gone on about this for long enough now. Is Independence Day: Resurgence as good as Independence Day? Of course not. Is it 20 years too late? Well, Box Office figures suggest people aren’t going to see it so probably. But is it a good film? Ah, that’s the big question. It’s a very good alien invasion, popcorn, entertaining film to just sit back and enjoy. But does that make it a good film? Well, that’s for you to decide.

Independence Day: Resurgence: 4/5

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