ByJoe Garwood, writer at
films and shit.
Joe Garwood

Independence Day: Resurgence is written and directed by Roland Emmerich, co-written by Nicolas Wright, Dean Devlin, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt, and stars Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourge, Deobia Operai, William Fichtner, Sela Ward, and far too many people, as if I name all the lead characters now it will seriously take me 20 minutes. It is the sequel to the 1996 sci-fi-action classic, Independence Day, which is a not particularly good film that is just so entertaining to watch. It follows characters old and new, as another alien threat emerges and must be taken out. When going into this movie, I was hoping I would once again get the silly, ridiculous action and destruction and charming campiness of the first film, but did I get it? Here's my take on Independence Day: Resurgence.

Let me start with some pros, because there were elements of this film that I had a lot of fun with. First of all, I thought some of the cast worked very well. I thought particularly Liam Hemsworth surprised me with some real charisma and great energy, making him a pretty cool action hero to rival Will Smith's Steven Hiller from the first film. However, I'm pretty sure the character that was meant to take over the reigns from Smith's character was Hiller's son, played by Jessie T. Usher, who was much more one dimensional and boring than Hemsworth. Another actor from the younger cast that really disappointed me was Maika Monroe, who is an actress I actually think is really underrated, but in this film she just came off as dull and empty. Going to the older cast, I thought Jeff Goldblum reprised his role fantastically as David Levinson, and had a seriously fun energy to him, as did Judd Hirsch as his father, Julius Levinson, who brought many of the funnier moments for me. Summing up the rest of the cast though, I thought the performances were mostly boring, and Brent Spiner's humour was far too forced and was purely overused.

This film did have the Return of the King case of the multiple endings. I was ready to get up a leave quite a few times in the last 20 minutes of the film. And then the actual ending is extremely abrupt, with an outrageously lazy set up for another sequel. That's the thing here, the writing is just lazy. The writers don't go out of their way to do anything we haven't seen before, which really separates this from it's predecessor. The first film was revolutionary as it showed serious advances in practical and computer generated effects, whilst having an enthusiastic and passionate cast. And whilst the CG is fantastic here, there's nothing about this film that particularly excites me about movies. The plot is made up of everything we've seen before, the dialogue is re-used and lethargic, and the characters are just concoctions of action heroes from the past all mixed up together.

Back to characters though, where this film really suffered was where it had way too many of them, and they weren't juggled well enough for us to care about a lot of them. There are kids in a car and some men on a boat that I think are supposed to be important to the story, but really just don't need to be there, and I really didn't care for these characters. It's extremely jarring when the movie cuts to these characters, as I would much rather spend time with Goldblum and Hemsworth instead, as these are the characters that interest me the most and that I connect with the most. I do have to say though, when the movie switched to the balls-out, ridiculous CG action and destruction, I was thoroughly entertained. Cityscapes being torn apart and dropped on other cityscapes may not have the dramatic flare or emotional resonance of an arthouse film, but it is great adrenaline fuel.

Overall, that's what I can say this film is really, it's just 2 hours of adrenaline with a generic and boring story, one dimensional characters and a formulaic approach. But, I can't exactly say I wasn't entertained by the destruction. However, moments of ridiculous, stupid fun can't excuse this film from being poor, and whilst the CG is mesmerising at times, the lazy script and worn out formula ultimately makes this film a flop for me.

Grade: D+

So what did you think of Independence Day: Resurgence? Have you seen it? Do you have an idea as to why this movie is polarising critics so much? Make sure to let me know down in the comments and if you liked this review go to for more like it.


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