Twenty years and two hundred million dollars later, Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters. A new cast emerges but with some familiar faces, as well, with Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Bill Pullman, William Fichtner and Brent Spiner reprising their roles from the 1996 film. No Will Smith, though, as it is explained his character was killed while test flying some new contraption, but his son, Dylan (Jessie T. Usher) is all grown up and a pilot, himself. Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) is the guy that almost killed Dylan in flight school while on a training mission, so Dylan is still understandably a bit peeved. To my knowledge Jake Morrison is a brand new character added to this film as is Patricia Whitmore, former President Whitmore’s (Bill Pullman) adult daughter who is engaged to Jake and looking at houses to purchase. If only we could rid ourselves of these pesky aliens.
Independence Day: Resurgence is, of course, the sequel to Independence Day from 1996 as “Resurgence” opens life has gone on and gotten better since then. Mankind has harnessed the alien technology to make life easier for everyone and the whole world is living in peace and harmony, for the most part, having come together to vanquish evil the first time. But, now the aliens have decided to return with an even bigger ship to harvest the Earth’s molten core and destroying Earth in the process. Can the world unite to stop the aliens from wiping us all out? Will Jake and Patricia find that house they are looking for to settle down in? Will Dylan and Jake put aside their differences and learn how to fight together again? And will the ringing in ex-President Whitmore’s and Dr. Okun’s (Brent Spiner) stop interfering with the voices in their heads?
Well, I think we all know the answers and Independence Day: Resurgence certainly does not stretch itself beyond pat and predictability. The visuals have come a long way and look terrific in IMAX 3D, but the backstories in this film are pretty bad. There is not one that is original or even interesting. It is not to say you won’t have a bit of fun, but this 200 million dollar film is a carbon copy of the original. I was not the biggest fan of the original, but thought it was okay. We did not need another one and especially one that is as bland and devoid of any heart or soul. The listing of screenwriters is no less than FIVE people with another four who came up with the story. Dean Devlin, James A. Woods, Nicolas Wright, Roland Emmerich (also billed as director) and James Vanderbilt are credited with writing the script. You would think that with that many capable writers they could spice things up a bit. But everything is formulaic and standard. The characters are likable enough and the acting is sufficient, but nobody is taking home the Oscar for their work, here.
This is a film that wants to entertain and since this is the beginning of the summer, big, dumb action films like Independence Day: Resurgence are out there. The visuals are what people are going to want to see, for the most part and when you know the visual effects are going to be terrific, why not take the time to hammer out a good script to match the quality of the effects? The result is a mildly entertaining film that, story wise, is pretty shallow and dull. Should you rush out and see this film? No. But it is one that, if you must see it, see it in IMAX 3D to get the meat of the movie which are the visuals. Story wise, you will need to fill up with The Nice Guys, Central Intelligence or The Conjuring 2. Roland Emmerich does not really care what critics think. “I make movies for the masses”, he once stated in an interview. Independence Day: Resurgence is harmless enough movie making for the masses, but nothing more.
Independence Day: Resurgence – **1/2 out of 5
Independence Day: Resurgence – Rated PG-13 for language and violence
Independence Day: Resurgence – Run Time is 125 minutes
Independence Day: Resurgence is now playing in theaters. Check your local listings for times and locations.