Film

REVIEW: Independence Day: Resurgence

Written by Gregory Lastra

Please excuse the delay of this review. In order to properly review Independence Day: Resurgence I needed to take a little extra time to properly process my thoughts.  My grieving period has ended and I am ready to break my silence. Independence Day: Resurgence was a complete and utter failure.

You can call me guilty or naive, because I bought into the hype. I was so caught up in the nostalgia since the films announcement, I was blinded. About two weeks ago I wrote a listicle, highlighting various items from Independence Day: Resurgence to get excited for. With all Jeff Goldblum jokes aside, there were six total. Six reasons to get excited for IDR. Now after seeing the film I can honestly tell you only one item I listed came through, while the rest fell flat on their face.

Twenty years later, that’s a long time. Structurally similar to Independence Day, Independence Day: Resurgence appeared to have larger stakes and a wider scope. Promising a big blockbuster success. I mean this is an Independence Day sequel for crying out loud, with an enormous ship, seeking revenge on planet Earth. Sounds simple enough, right? No! What I witnessed and what I have gathered during my time to grieve is that Independence Day: Resurgence lacked soul. Quite literally, living up to a “disaster” movie.

Allow me to paint a picture of my expectations. This can easily be accomplished by saying what Independence Day had to offer. Epic destruction like we had never seen before, comic relief to cut the tension, and an array characters scattered throughout the film to rally behind. The battle of 1996 will never be forgotten, but unfortunately now it may be over-shadowed by a poorly executed sequel.

Independence Day: Resurgence had the cast we wanted, even with an absent Will Smith, the studio figured out a clever way to fill the void. The film still had a leg to stand on. All they had to do was give the fans something new, but with the same old tricks. I understand it’s a different time and a sequel, but the film should still make you feel the same excitement as it’s predecessor. I WAS excited, I swear a kid stood up in our theater and recited President Whitmore’s address from ID4 in front of everyone. Going into the film as an audience we were amped! But, Independence Day: Resurgence simply did not feel the same. It was empty and I was unsatisfied. The story lacked and the characters were shallow. Their words carried no weight. It felt rushed and too “Hollywood.” What I mean by “Hollywood” is that they did too much, and it came off like they were just trying to make a quick buck off of an already epic title. Unfortunately, there is evidence of that with a planned third instalment. Woof.

For those of you who enjoyed it, I am happy for you, because obviously you are way more open-minded and fair. Luckily for you I am able to recall a scene I enjoyed, but WARNING, the scene does have its faults and I am required to point out its short-comings. The destruction of half the world when the much larger mothership attaches itself to Earth. It’s so big, that it has it own gravity, literally sucking up anything in its path. Brilliant idea and visually stunning, BUT short-lived. It happened way to fast and the shock value wasn’t there.

Earlier I mentioned one of my six reasons to get excited for Independence Day: Resurgence came through and I’m happy to announce that Dr. Brakish Okun got multiple laughs out of me. The once thought dead doctor of Area 51 was only in a coma for the past twenty years! This made for some entertaining moments, especially when he came out of the coma! I don’t wan’t to spoil anything, but I will say it’s priceless. Hidden among most of the anguish and betrayal I felt towards Independence Day: Resurgence, tiny glimmers of hope like Dr. Brakish Okun occasionally appeared on screen, but, ultimately failed to deliver.

Nostalgia played a crucial role in the success and marketing of this film.  If nostalgia is what they were banking on for success and getting fans back in the seats twenty years later, then answer me this. Earth celebrates it’s victory, holding former President Whitmore and Steven Hiller among many others responsible for Earth’s victory. NOT ONCE, did they mention Russell Casse! I shouldn’t have to explain who Russell Casse is, but he’s the guy that saved the day in ID4, when all else failed and everyone’s missiles conveniently jammed. Russell Casse sacrificed himself to blow up the mothership. I was extremely hurt that they would not even mention or show a picture of this character. I’m not sure if it’s a political thing behind the scenes, because, lets be honest Russell Casse was portrayed by Randy Quaid and he’s kind of lost touch with reality. But that shouldn’t matter especially when honoring a fictional character who played a key role in the first film! With that I say “UP YOURS!” To Mr. Emmerich.

The action was there, but what lacked the most was the heart and soul of the first. The film would have been better served if the aliens had won.

What did you think? Are you as disappointed as I am? Should they do a third or just let it be? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Gregory Lastra