Aliens come back. Aliens destroy large swaths of the planet Earth. Humans fight back. Sound familiar?
Independence Day: Resurgence did the one thing that I thought it couldn’t do: I made me look at my watch multiple times. This two hour movie felt like it was three hours long and there were long stretches of the film where I found myself absolutely bored to death. There are a few reasons for this.
- There are no interesting characters in the film. Jeff Goldblum was doing his standard Jeff Goldblum character. William Fichtner was doing his now standard “military guy” character. Judd Hirsch doesn’t look like he aged a day since the last film some 20 years ago. Of the new young characters, only Liam Hemsworth has enough charisma to be somewhat entertaining and memorable. The other three: Maika Monroe (little Whitmore), Jessie T. Usher (little Hiller who is sadly not even a close replacement for Will Smith) and Travis Tope (little who?) were forgettable. The only guy who was fun was Brent Spiner.
- While the humans in this film are still the underdogs, they have alien tech this time around. This lowered the stakes of the film and there was not a sense of urgency to the film. Even the ever-overused countdown clock was a snooze.
- There were way too many characters. Maybe Roland Emmerich and his writers thought having more characters meant a film that felt more epic. But, in the end, there was no one to care about since I didn’t get to know any of the characters.
For a big budget summer film, there were some questionable special effects in this movie. Having said all of this, when Emmerich conducts mayhem and mass destruction on screen, it works and is exciting. He is the master of world destruction and that will be his legacy (ID4, 2012, Day After Tomorrow).
The end of the film leaves the door open for a sequel, which I will end up seeing just to see where they go with this series. But, I hope they keep it to a trilogy. Is IDR worth a viewing? Yes, but only as a cheap rental.