Surviving The Invasion, Again an “Independence Day: Resurgence” (Movie Review)

Jun 24, 2016

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Independence Day: Resurgence
20th Century Fox

Directed by: Roland Emmerick
Written by: Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Jessie T. User, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward

The Good
Whether you decide to see this in 3D or not, it’s fair to say that the visuals and action carry this movie more than anything. The level of destruction is taken up a few notches compared to the previous Independence Day (1996). The stakes are certainly raised and the threat of the alien attack no joke. It was intriguing to see the damage the aliens caused to the planet and the entire human race.

Credit goes to Jeff Goldblum ( played “David Levinson”) and Bill Pullman (played former President Whitmore) for being probably the best vets from the previous movie. This may have been Liam Hemsworth’s best performance to date. (Don’t get too excited. This is more like an “Effort Award”) However, my absolute favorite was Deobia Oparei, who played “Dikembe Umbutu”…or the badass with the double machetes. Both his character and story were soooo much more interesting than almost the entire movie. The entire time I wanted to know “How did he learn that?” … “He did what to those aliens?”….”Why aren’t more people asking Umbutu more questions?” Personally, I think that given the big time gap between the previous movie and this sequel, I think Umbutu’s character’s story arc would’ve been a great one to do a mini solo film. (Especially to get us all up to speed.)

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I did appreciate what this movie set out to do, and the direction it’s headed. I won’t go into more detail than that to avoid any spoilers.

The Bad
The movie spent maybe 30 mins too long consistently trying to play the “You Remember When” game. They were referring to characters and their past relationships as if we, the audience, were supposed to remember it all like it was yesterday (or 1996). For the most part, I really didn’t even care about the nostalgia at all. It probably could’ve been easily summed up in one of those fake news reports in just 5 mins. Instead we’re re-introduced to (literally) old characters who you may not even recognize unless you watch Independence Day (1996) right before seeing this sequel.

Furthermore, I wasn’t sold on the character development of the new characters either. Liam Hemsworth and Jessie T. Usher didn’t really seem to have the best on screen chemistry. Their backstory seemed random and just thrown in last minute just to give them an excuse to interact or have a past.

Other characters seemed unnecessary as well. Judd Hirsch, who plays Jeff Goldblum’s character’s dad, seem by far the most out of place. His attempt of being the comic relief barely even got a chuckle out of the audience at my showing. It felt like maybe if you could identify from the Jewish parent stereotypes, then maybe the jokes will resonate more with you than others.

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Lastly, there were very little, if any, surprises in the plot. This was pretty predictable. If you pay attention and listen closely, you’ll probably guess the direction of the movie’s ending very early on. You still want to see how it plays out, but it just takes a little bit of the edge off in terms of the climax.

The Reason
Had this sequel came out in 1998 (with Will Smith) it would’ve been an AWESOME film. Had it came out in 2006 (with or without Will Smith), it would’ve been a pretty good film. Coming out 20 years later put a little bit too much of a strain on this film. It’s now just a “Very Okay” movie. A lot of this stuff we’ve seen, and only some of it we haven’t in other films. You could probably think of this sequel as “Aliens + Starship Troopers”.

Despite the visuals, I think you’ll be fine if you skipped on the 3D. The 3D doesn’t make or break the movie. I think this is worth seeing in theaters just because they do throw a lot of action your way and it is very nice to see it all on the big screen. I’d probably go in with low expectations. I don’t think there’s anything in this movie that will blow you away or having you leaving the theaters thinking it was “epic”. As I said, it’s a good movie that’s just a little too late to the party.

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