REVIEW: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

ID4-2 Poster
Theatrical Release Poster – 20th Century Fox

The following is a review of Independence Day: Resurgence, a Roland Emmerich film.

It’s been twenty years since the release of the original Independence Day. That film from 1996 is a nice, fun little popcorn film. I have a lot of fun with it, even if it isn’t considered a ‘great film’. That said, I was really pessimistic when I sat down in the theater to watch the sequel, Resurgence. I had heard that Will Smith wasn’t in the sequel, and that Mae Whitman had been replaced by Maika Monroe. I was worried, but I wanted to like the film. Now I’ve seen it, and it’s even worse than I had feared.

Twenty years after the events of the first film, humanity has learned from the attack. We’ve got more powerful weapons, a moon base, but perhaps some militarymen have also gotten overconfident. But the attack has also had a negative effect on some of our original heroes. While David Levinson (played by Jeff Goldblum) is doing really well, former President Thomas J. Whitmore (played by Bill Pullman) keeps on having these visions, and Dr. Brakish Okun (played by Brent Spiner) has been in a coma for twenty years.

Steven Hiller is dead, and his son is now a pilot (played by Jessie Usher) for the Earth Space Defense program (ESD). Patricia Whitmore (now played by Maika Monroe) has resigned from the Earth Space Defense program to take care of her father, while her boyfriend, Jake Morrison (played by Liam Hemsworth), still works for the ESD.

One day, the ESD shoots down an alien aircraft with ease, and not long thereafter the aliens from the first film return to once again attack Earth. But they’re much more powerful than they once were, and now our heroes must again act the underdogs and defend Earth from an alien attack.

This was a painful experience, and, quite frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever been this disappointed with a film. You may say that the first film is a tad overrated, but Resurgence makes the original film look like a Best Picture winner at the Oscars. Independence Day: Resurgence is inexcusably bad.

There are a lot of things going on in this film, and it really shows in the dialogue. At times, it felt like the characters were reading a summary of the last twenty years out loud. It’s really, really bad. There’s no energy, it’s a mess, and parts of the film felt really lazy. It hurts me to say this, but Resurgence broke me. And it may be so bad that it even hurts the original film a little bit. This sequel is a mess, with mindless action and weightless destruction.

Not all of the performances are bad, but none of them are more than okay. Jessie Usher’s character was uninteresting, and he added nothing to the part. I didn’t feel for Patricia Whitmore or Jake Morrison, even though I actually like Maika Monroe and Liam Hemsworth. I want these actors to succeed. I’m not sure I liked any of the performances. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum didn’t save the film for me, even though I love those characters.

I can’t, in good faith, recommend anything in this film. They had twenty years to make a sequel, and they came up with one of the worst blockbuster science-fiction sequels ever. It is, without a doubt, my worst theater experience. I wanted to leave. I wanted my money back. I hated this film.

1 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex