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Independence Day Resurgence: The critics aren't happy

Thu, 23rd Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Warning: Major spoilers ahead.

The reviews are out and the critics aren't happy.

It took 20 years but it seems that wasn't long enough to make a satisfactory sequel to arguably the first amazing blockbuster of our time, Independence Day.

Independence Day Resurgence looked promising. There wasn't going to be Will Smith, they had some questionable casting choices, but 20 years meant huge advancements in film making and I was pretty excited.

Resurgence opens up 20 years after Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum saved Earth from an alien invasion. It turns out those aliens sent out a distress call right before their demise, and 20 years later, their call was answered. Enter new aliens.

They get into it pretty quick. Turns out the new bad guys are on their way to Earth to suck up our molten core, something they've been doing all over the universe.

It wasn't the best lead in to a disaster film to be honest. Why are the aliens here already? Who are you? I just met you. I don't care if you die.

Plot wise, there was just too much going on. There were too many characters, too many mini battles. It's like they had all these awesome ideas but they couldn't flesh them out properly because films aren't meant to be five hours long.

There were too many unimportant characters and not enough character development to make me care about the new recruits. All that did was make me want them to get killed off ASAP so I could see more of the original characters.

Why do we always need a white guy leading the film? As we learned from the original, this doesn't have to be the case. Liam Hemsworth was no Will Smith. His character was cocky and arrogant like Will Smith but he didn't have the charm to pull it off. Will Smith's son was there (played by Jessie Usher), but not really. He was there to build some kind of tension with Liam Hemsworth but that wasn't really explained so I didn't care. They should have combined the two characters and then we wouldn't have had to deal with Liam Hemsworth and we could've had a good lead instead of two mediocre ones.

Same with the new president. Oh yay they were all modern and feminist by having a female president, played terribly by worst actor nominee and disaster movie queen Sela Ward, but of course she had to be killed off while she was hiding out in bunkers "making" important decisions, only to be replaced by White Man William Fichtner. Now I am a huge fan of his, but why not cast an actress who can pull off a badassery president role without having to be replaced by a dude? Or just have William Fichtner from the start? It's insulting.

I wanted more time with David (the always hilarious and amazing Jeff Goldblum, more of him please) and his dad (Judd Hirsch the great). Still the best on screen father-son relationship ever, but the writers didn't do it justice. They were only together for about five minutes and it was right at the end. And apparently they only see each other at Thanksgiving, sometimes. Had they not watched the first film? David loves his daddy.

And President Whitmore (Bill Pullman). Well he was all old and beardy and had a walking stick and was suffering from pretty intense PTSD, but then he gave a mediocre speech and decided to be the hero who flies into the alien spacecraft. Apparently old age and any physical ailments go out the window with a quick shave of the old beard.

I didn't actually mind the actress playing President Whitmore's daughter, Maika Monroe. She was pretty badass in the end until the writers decided she needed Liam Hemsworth to save her. I bet Mae Whitman wouldn't have needed saving, just saying.

Oh did you know Will Smith's wife (Vivica A Fox) became a doctor? Apparently her being a badass stripper in the old days meant she had to have a complete personality change to make her a more respected and successful character, even though she got all of two lines and fell off a helicopter and died. Good one. Where was her sassiness? Guess it died with Will Smith.

It's like they killed all the heart of the first film. There was no genuine uniting of the people. The one liners just weren't up to it. There was no big amazing speech, and President Whitmore's speech from Independence Day is the best speech of all time and is a defining moment in that first film. Hilary should say it when she saves America/the world from Trump later this year (only because Bernie can't).

On its own, as a standalone action blockbuster, Resurgence was actually all right. The special effects were on point, the acting was good bar a few exceptions (looking at you Sela Ward), and the fight scenes with the planes and aliens were fantastic. There were cool AF inventions like gravity sucking up cities and holes being laser-drilled into the ocean, and the epic sky scraper-sized Queen Alien running along the beautiful white Nevada salt flats was movie heaven. That was cool.

And when the pilots went inside the alien mother ship and had a bit of ground combat in the alien swamp, double cool. Could have had more of that to be honest.

The thing missing was more destruction of Earth itself. I wanted more. I wanted ALL the landmarks blown up not just one. It felt like only one city got slammed and it was done. I can't even remember what city it was.

Oh and there was this whole other plot line about some warlord in Africa who had been fighting the aliens back in 1996, and he knew how to kill them and how to fight the aliens in combat, but yet again it was another plot line not explored properly and I didn't really understand why he was there. More diversity just for the sake of it probably.

In its defence, I had huge expectations of this film. I am a die hard Independence Day fan, so they really had to pull out something magical for me to not poke holes in the sequel. I had even accepted the fact the Will Smith wasn't going to be in it, and even entertained the idea the sequel could be great without him. It wasn't. But as I said, as a standalone action flick it was a-ok. Maybe they can rename it to something else.

3/5, but because it's a CGI disaster film masterpiece, 10/10 would watch again.

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