REVIEW: 'INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE’ IS PROOF THAT BIGGER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER
In an age where late sequels are actually excellent (Star Wars, Mad Max, Jurassic World), Independence Day: Resurgence fails to do anything spectacular. But as a fun blockbuster, Independence Day: Resurgence fits the bill.
Not much has changed between the original film and this one besides the fact that it’s set 20 years later and Will Smith’s character died somewhere along the way. The plot is similar to the original, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it does add its own minor twists along the way. The story tries to outdo the original in every way by the writers taking the “bigger is better” approach but when the dialog is bad and pacing is constantly an issue, the story drags at times and tends to bring the overall experience down. Emmerich's film also has the Batman V Superman issue of trying to set up its sequel before it can establish itself as a movie. In essence though, that’s what this movie is. It’s a big set up for an Independence Day Franchise where they’ll split off into several different movies. It’s ambitious but will only happen if this movie is a box office success.
The action is where the movie gets better and you’d expect nothing less from director Roland Emmerich. It’s overloaded with CGI, and some of it is messy but it’s fun and exciting to watch. It feels chaotic and fast, with so much happening on the screen at once. It’s a spectacle to watch, especially in cinemas. My only gripe is the lack of character focus in the shots. There are scenes in the film where you have no idea who you’re watching, with each character’s ship looking the same, broken up by jumpy cuts to faces to indicate who is flying.
CGI is used excessively well throughout the film. Everything looks amazing. It isn’t as groundbreaking as it was 20 years ago but it stands up there as one of the best uses of CGI. Most particularly impressive is the design of the aliens themselves. While the original movie showcased the aliens, now they’re more refined and detailed.
The cast of the film is a mixture of old and new. The old live up to expectations, with Jeff Goldblum in particular giving outstanding performance with impeccable comedic timing. The new are more or less meh to okay at best. Liam Hemsworth is just not charming as a lead. He’s missing a certain charisma and it doesn’t help that his character comes off as a bit of a douche throughout the film. The rest of the newbies do alright but it does feel as the script for their characters was weaker on the whole.
What does this mean for the film as a whole? Well, it has inconsistent pacing, is messy during the action and doesn’t have the most likable lead. But all in all, it's still fun. For me if a film is fun enough, it can overcome its other flaws and become an enjoyable watch. Independence Day: Resurgence does exactly that and is a movie that should be enjoyed on the big screen.
PLAYBACK RATING: 7/10
don’t play it/ PLAY IT ONCE/ play it again