I was three years old when the first Independence Day came out so I obviously didn’t feel the hype for the first one as it was before my time. Like pretty much everyone I discovered it, watched it and was entertained by it. It’s by no means a “great” movie but it has a bucket load of charm and charisma. It knows exactly what it is, with Will Smith being the stand out star who brings the energy in abundance.
Which brings us to twenty years later and this painful sequel. Independence Day Resurgence is set twenty years after the original film and the films first half hour shows how humans have used the alien tech from the first one to build weapons and enhance our society. After the aliens come and guess what……we beat them, the end, see you later.
Before I start criticizing this film I want too say that I really wanted to like this film. The first one has been played on numerous family gatherings over the years in my house with a bowl of popcorn and everyone having a great time with it. That’s what makes this film so bad is that if the end of the world as we know it is on the line and you don’t give a single fuck about who lives or dies then there’s HUGE problems with the film.
I actually wouldn’t of minded the aliens winning, at least I would of been interested by the film in some way. Literally after ten minutes of this film I was looking at my watch wanting it to be over. The CGI is overused way too much and the film doesn’t feel real at all. Literally every single frame of the film has CGI in it, I’d have to re-watch Transformers but I am pretty sure even that has a handfuls of shots without CGI in them.
The director Roland Emmerich (who did a great job with the first one) has clearly no understanding of what made audiences invest in the first film because this savage over use of CGI makes the world seem like some cartoon world. For me personally I couldn’t get invested in the world and what made the first one great was seeing landmarks get destroyed (the famous White House shot) in this one the alien ship is literally the size of the Atlantic Ocean, so when it cuts to a Chinese man running out of his car to try and survive, I can’t get invested in that when everything is just so astronomically bigger.
The problems of the billions of people on the ground are just flooded in this cocoon of weightless CGI. It has zero emotional stakes and feels fake, at least with Warcraft the action had weight to it, this doesn’t. This film really is proof that bigger is not always better.
Let’s get onto the acting and screenplay, eugh. That is the only word I kept saying to myself over and over again. The fleshing of the old and the new characters could have been interesting if they actually made the new characters do anything except be carbon copies of the original characters. The entire time the son of Will Smith’s character was on screen (yes I have forgotten his name already, if you see the film you’ll know why) I just pined for Will Smith.
It was reported before the film was officially announced that he wanted $50 million dollars to be in the film, they should have paid it. This film is dying for energy from someone. Liam Hemsworth attempts at comedy would have been rejected by Michael Bay, seriously myself and nobody in the entire cinema laughed once. Jeff Goldblum who should be the best thing about the film is quite frankly the saddest as he is literally phoning this performance in. At times it genuinely looks like he has having is lines fed through to him by earpiece, I’m not even joking every single line of dialogue he says has weird out of place pauses.
All the actors have zero chemistry with each other as every “emotional” scene just made me cringe in my seat. Bill Pullman (President in the first film) goes from being barely able to walk at the beginning to miraculously flying a alien/hybrid fighter jet, which I’m no pilot but I am pretty sure that is one hell of a difficult job. The mind boggles, how do some writers in Hollywood expect to shovel this shit onto the screen and have audiences believe/invest in any of it, but not only that actually pay money to see it! I must of counted at least ten moments in the film where I was like “Really!?” someone said that, or did that etc.
The pacing of the film is way off as well. The first one got this spot on as the invasion started straight away and all the character building was done around the focal point of the invasion. In this one we spend so long being introduced to side characters, that it felt like I was watching a two hour trailer not a full length feature film. For example the father of Jeff Goldblums character is back in this one and he isn’t introduced until over an hour into the film, then all the film has him do is say stupid things and drive some kids around on a bus.
The one interesting aspect this film had was a side story about an African Warlord and how his people fought the aliens, but the film shits all over that by having it being brushed aside to accommodate Hollywood’s latest trend “World- Building”. Instead of making a coherent, good film on it’s own it tries to add little hints and teasers to the next film. I won’t spoil it here but its literally the dumbest shit I have seen in years, and the end scene may as well be the entire cast turning round and sticking a finger up in your face as it pretty much tells you what the third film will be and as the credits hit you suddenly realize that’s two hours that you will never get back.
Overall this film is fucking terrible,tedious and worst of all joyless. It insults the intelligence of anyone who watches it. I did not like a single thing about this film and for anyone who knows me that is extremely rare.