Movie Reviews

“Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016)

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WARNING: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW


Synopsis:
 Twenty years after the last attack, aliens return to destroy earth once and for all. It is up to a new generation to save the world with the help of David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and former President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman).

Review: A lot has changed since the first attack on earth twenty years ago. Countries have united and have had more peace than in decades. They have used alien technology to advance their own and have created the Earth Space Defense (ESD) to warn the people of earth of another attack – which happens to fall on the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the attack.

A new generation is prepared to fight the aliens this time around. Dylan Dubrow-Hiller (Jessie Usher) has been promoted to Captain, and is following in his stepfather’s (Will Smith) footsteps. Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe) now works for the White House and is helping her ailing father, while also engaged to Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), a lieutenant in the ESD.

The aliens this time around seem to have used the twenty years to prepare as well, making it nearly impossible for the humans to win. With the help of the awakened Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner) and his team to try and give the humans the upper hand to survive.

When a film as classic as Independence Day intends to a do a sequel, fans are usually very skeptical on quality. It doesn’t help that director Roland Emmerich hasn’t had the best track record since then either (critical flops Godzilla, White House Down, 2012) and that it has taken twenty years to make. The film won’t be hailed as a classic, but CGI effects have gotten much better since 1996 and help make the film at least visually stunning.

The new crop of actors doesn’t feature a breakout star like Will Smith in the original, but Emmerich tries to make Hemsworth and Usher the next best thing. Resurgence also follows a recent trend that Hollywood is making sequels have more humor (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Terminator: Genisys) than their predecessors. Resurgence does a good job at giving both the new stars and the returning vets a good amount of screen time, letting both generations shine.

One thing that Resurgence does well is rely on the talent of Goldlum. While he might not be the biggest box office draw, he is mesmerizing on screen as David Levinson and commands the screen as much as anyone else. It felt that the talents of Pullman, however, were underutilized. While he was in some very important scenes, President Whitmore went from crazy to sane in the matter of moments and could have been used in a greater capacity.

If you’re looking for a film to watch since Finding Dory is sold out, or aren’t too interested in things like Free State of Jones or Central Intelligence, Independence Day: Resurgence stands on its own as a fun summer blockbluster that won’t make you think too hard, but will give you some great CGI action shots.

Final Grade: 6.5/10

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