Independence Day: Resurgence – Here We Go, Again – Review

Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Courtesy 20th Century Fox

It’s July 4th all over again as the world gets ready to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of humanity defeating the aliens who invaded so long ago (all the way back in 1996!).

However, predictions that the aliens would return have come true when a strange probe is shot down at the Moon Base run by our multi-national military force, but everybody better hold onto their booties, because what’s trailing behind the probe is an alien ship 3,000 miles in diameter, which decides to park itself in the ocean to drill to the earth’s core.

What do the aliens want?

Can humanity survive, again?

Is Will Smith glad he passed on this one?

If you didn’t live through it, you wouldn’t realize what a massive phenomenon Independence Day was when it was released in 1996.

In a time before the tragedies of September 11, 2001, the teasers, posters and trailers for the movie, which depicted the aliens blowing up landmarks like The White House, were met with cheers and created some of the biggest buzz you could ever imagine.  The film’s success transformed Will Smith from a TV star known for being a rapper into The King of July 4th movies.

However, Independence Day never grew to the stature of a franchise like Star Wars or Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings. It was a movie that had its moment, but faded away.  This is why I am so surprised a sequel has been made.

Much like the first one, Independence Day: Resurgence is a fun movie, but not one you will clamor to see over and over again or beg 20th Century Fox to make another sequel (no matter how much they threaten to do so in the film’s last moments).

Co-writer/director Roland Emmerich and co-writer Dean Devlin do everything in their power to fill Independence Day: Resurgence with the same spirit as the original, and attempt to elevate the characters from the first movie to some sort of legendary status, but Luke Skywalker they ain’t.

All are fine actors as Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch and even Brent Spiner return, but the movie becomes a bit too campy and relies too much on stereotypical stories.

Devlin, Emmerich and the rest of the 5-person writing team seem to have never met a one-liner or schmaltzy romantic scene they didn’t like, and try to stuff them all into Independence Day: Resurgence.  The comedy doesn’t elicit many laughs, and tends to be too broad and obvious, while all of those “inspirational” statements and calls to duty are forced and phony.

Thankfully, they know how to keep us thrilled with aerial battles between our spaceships and theirs, a dangerous mission to the alien ship that reveals a surprising interior and plenty of stuff getting blown up.

While Emmerich and Devlin might attempt to bring a touch of reverence to the appearance of characters we have not seen in many years, Independence Day: Resurgence is likely to relegate them to the same fate.  We’ll have some fun for the moment, but forget them in a few days.

2waffles_sml2 Waffles (Out of 4)

Independence Day: Resurgence is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and destruction, and for some language.