As I drove to my theater in the pouring rain, I paused a moment and thought “when it rains it pours”. With the roads slick thanks to a mixture of water and oil, I found myself calmly anticipating my opening night feature that is director Roland Emmerich’s sequel Independence Day: Resurgence and while I knew exactly what they were “resurging”, I paid my $12.50 anyway, and as I said before, “when it rains it pours”. Of course, you learn soon enough that what comes down on you isn’t always rain, but rather bits and pieces of sh** and spare sci-fi scripts you find in an old drawer at a film studio, and that is how this movie was made.
Emmerich isn’t exactly known for his brilliant narrative or being able to get the best from his actors, but don’t worry, at least he’s consistent. Sure, it’s fair to say that the first Independence Day is a classic in it’s own right, maybe not like Jaws or Casablanca, but it has a special place in cinematic history. I just wish I was able to write you all this review with some good news about it’s sequel, but I can’t. This was like getting the end piece of bread after the bag was open too long. At first I thought, well, it’s still bread I suppose, and I can’t let it just go to waste, but instead my optimism spawned pessimism. This film was that unwanted end piece of bread.
Even though I knew the cheese was going to be there, it still reeked of crap. Emmerich and whomever his casting director was brought back some of the people we liked and some of the others didn’t make it for the sequel. The one positive throughout these two movies is Jeff Goldblum and in his iconic bumbling intellect he spared me from what felt like Chinese water torture at times thanks to a cast that looked like they could have all played a Power Ranger at some point in time. The hand-me-down actors throughout were laughable in ways that actually made you laugh and then times when you weren’t. Beyond that, none of them seemed to warrant a compelling story that’s worth believing, but let’s be fair here, there is no story worth caring about.
It’s nothing more than destruction porn with a big budget that clearly didn’t go to good actors beyond Goldblum and the guy with long grey hair from the first one. Otherwise, you were given characters that you hoped would be taken by aliens never to be seen again, but then there were certain characters who made appearances to then vanish without a care in the world. It’s kind of funny actually. It was like playing baseball as a kid and one of the baseballs goes over the neighbors fence, you and your friends sulk for a minute, then you just play something else. The one thing I had hoped for was to at least see some good action with people versus aliens, but what I got was about five glimpses of aliens, and the rest of the scenes being from Power Rangers: Resurgence starring the other Hemsworth, Knock-off Will Smith, and friends.
The third act or so is where I accepted the low quality of this movie. No spoilers, but there is a lot of cool directions they could have gone to end the film in a fun and exciting way, but what they chose to do instead was not use that to their advantage, but instead set up a sequel to a film series definitely doesn’t need any sequels anytime soon. It’s the true Hollywood blockbuster of today, a high budget, threat to humanity film that follows every trope like a duckling to the mother only to learn that it can’t swim either.
I don’t think anyone had high standards coming in, but the trailers gave me a sparkle of hope that I was praying would at least illuminate enough to show a smile on my face. The final outcome became a dimwitted film with dimwitted acting and decision making. Iconic tropes from other great science fictions films can be found from the likes of Star Wars, Alien, Cloverfield, Godzilla, and even fractions of San Andreas, but somehow none of that is a compliment to the films quality. If you want to go in and see things get destroyed I bet you’ll still be upset after you see this movie. If you wanted aliens and sci-fi action, you will still be upset. Jeff Goldblum will be the reason you see this film and he will be the reason you decide to watch Jurassic Park once you’re done reading this review.