Wednesday, 29 June 2016

OJ's Movie Review - Independence Day: Resurgence

Fourth of July seems to be the best day for an alien invasion.

Following the trend of making sequels to blockbusters from decades gone, Independence Day: Resurgence takes place twenty years after the original and brings back one or two of the original cast to play alongside a bunch of newbies at this alien-busting lark. First off, I really enjoy 1996's Independence Day, it's a pure 90s summer movie and a Roland Emmerich classic so I was a little hesitant when hearing of a sequel. But now I've seen it let's go over some things.
   I'll start, as I always do, with what I liked. I always love an alien movie so I really enjoyed seeing them here. Although a bit underused at times the alien parts of the film were by far the most interesting; they also built on what we already knew about them which was cool to see what they did with that. On the human side of course we have Jeff Goldblum back and he is a welcome sight to any pop culture fan; he delivers one or two memorable lines and in general is just a highlight. Apart from that I unfortunately have to say there isn't really anything else enjoyable about this film.
   Independence Day: Resurgence is a complete and utter rush from beginning to end. Almost every line of dialogue in the first act was purely expositional. It would cut from one place to another giving you all this information about the world, all these new characters and various things that would go by so quick I didn't have time to get invested. There was no chance to breath, no sooner had it started we were getting huge action sequences and then it would go straight to another. This meant that quite a major piece of new information to this universe went by very abruptly; before I realised what this scene, which in hindsight should have been a bit more impacting, was trying to tell me, we had moved on to set up another action piece.
  Characters weren't developed at all so I didn't feel anything for them when things happened. There were these three new characters, including Liam Hemsworth and they had this backstory but trying to keep track of everything and not having time to be with these characters I couldn't care less what happened to them; it was like watching strangers from afar. Two other characters were introduced and they were put together as some sort of comedy relief I guess but they fit more into a Pacific Rim sort of film. Now I like Pacific Rim a lot but there is a huge difference between that tone and the tone of the first Independence Day, which is what I was expecting here.
   The first ID4 was exciting, it had likable characters, it had tense moments. We all remember the aliens being very imposing and threatening; that scene in the operation room showed us that just one could be very powerful but in this sequel they were relegated to mere CGI cannon fodder. Perhaps if this wasn't a sequel; if it was it's own thing, I would have enjoyed it more. But because it is such departure tonally and leaves behind any sort of practical effects for CGI it just felt really rushed and it ended very abruptly trying to get a third film going.
   In the end Independence Day: Resurgence had a few highlights here and there but this time the king of disaster movies, Roland Emmerich, a man whose work I enjoy (yes, even 2012), has brought just a meaningless, disappointing sequel.


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