Independence Day: Resurgence review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
An enormous, voluptuous spectacle on the outside that feels as empty and shallow from the inside as an overpromised bag of chips mostly filled with air. Independence Day: Resurgence even manages to take the fun out of its predecessor by stupefying the Alien invaders’ intelligence and giving them bigger ships for no reason other than to give humans a chance of success against the usurping forces. In other words: lazy writing.
How is it then, 20 years after a fully rounded space invasion, that the same Aliens who previously attacked Earth grew even stupider upon their return? Hasn’t it supposed to be the other way around? I’m raising these issues because frankly, I don’t know their corresponding answers.
The heroic deeds translate from the first installment almost word for word: the jingoism, exaggerated American patriotism and xenophobia are all alive and kicking, actually kicking the audience in their teeth until either everyone gives up and leaves – or what remains of the jaws is an empty shell where once common sense dwelled.
That’s right: Independence Day: Resurgence is not afraid to show little to no subtlety, which unfortunately enough, it too cannot be spotted thanks to the gazillion CGI particles that convolute the whole ordeal into a mish-mash of random colors and consecutively disjointed events.
Furthermore, Roland Emmerich, together with its ‘top-billing Hollywood stars’ list comprised of Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman as the eponymous President Whitmore and for some reason Vivica A. Fox, embark to save the day yet again, only to fall prey to a small inconvenience known as lack of true essence of character. Whether or not this is the writers’ fault, the director’s hiccup or the producers’ ironclad impatience is neither relevant, nor anyone cares. If you’re thinking on cashing in on an established franchise – at least try to pretend that you care for your audience.
The film itself has some redeeming qualities, like Goldblum’s quirky mannerisms, or a somewhat exciting, neck-breaking space dogfights that give other space films a run for their money. Heck: even Brent Spinner tries hard not to screw up his lines, and almost succeeds in channeling his charismatic ‘Star Trek’ reputation to the aberrant Dr. Okun, for a while that is. Pullman feels like a wasted talent among the ruble, perhaps the studio’s fault – who would know at this point for certain?
One thing is clear however: Independence Day: Resurgence is bigger, louder and well-polished an experience, but lacks heart, character motivations, emotional catharsis and everything that made its predecessor work some 20 years ago.
If you’re so desperate to watch this movie, rent it with friends and take a sip every time a thing that was supposed to blow up in violet flames – didn’t.