Movie Review: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum and Maika Monroe

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

20 years after Earth’s first encounter with the alien species comes a second attack which is much larger than the first. Will the human race manage to survive the second onslaught?

I will start off by saying that I absolutely love the first Independence Day movie that came out in 1996. It’s one of my favourite movies of all time and I don’t tire of watching it to this day as it seriously has everything from great visuals, outstanding characters, epic fight scenes and it was a movie that was able to invoke an emotional reaction out of me when Randy Quaid’s character Russell Casse saves the day through an act of bravery and selflessness. Since the release of its sequel a couple years back I’ve always been caught in two minds about whether I want to watch it or not. On one hand I would like to see Jeff Goldblum reprise the role of David Levinson and see how the story is continues but on the other hand I had a fear that the movie would suck and would tarnish the first ones reputation. After much delay and deliberation I was finally ready to take a leap of faith and watch Independence Day 2 and hoped that it would surprise me and not be as bad as I had initially feared.

While Independence Day: Resurgence wasn’t anywhere close to the level of awful I had first thought, it’s still nothing compared to the first movie and in all honesty the sequel wasn’t needed at all. It was nice to see so many returning characters such as President Whitmore, David and Julius Levinson and Dr. Brakish Okun if not for anything but nostalgic purposes. Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson was great to watch in a role he played so brilliantly first time round but the rest of the returning actors didn’t really serve that much of purpose and were only there for the sake of being there it seemed. The one thing this movie lacked was the addition of Will Smith and all the charisma he brings to the table as he was exceptional in the first Independence Day movie and although the script writers tried to have his legacy live on through his son, Dylan Hiller, the actor who was playing him was truly awful and failed to honour the legacy left in Smith’s absence. Liam Hemsworth was also included into this movie as Dylan Hiller’s rival and Hemsworth’s character (Jake Morrison) was given a large amount of the comedy within this movie and I’m not sure if it was the way the comedy was written or Hemsworth’s delivery but a large portion of his witty one liners sank quicker than the Titanic.

Moving onto the visuals and there were some vast improvements in certain aspects of the movie as you’d expect but at times the effects used were poor, especially near the end when the heroes are in the desert celebrating their success, the green screen looked awful. I liked the inclusion of experienced actor William Fichtner as General Adams as I thought he brought something different that the other new cast members didn’t. Travis Tope also acted well as he played one of the fighter pilots and he was able to come across as relatable as he wears his heart on his sleeve throughout the movie and was a very likeable character. There were some illogical decisions made by the humans and even the alien queen as she decided to pick up a vendetta against David Levinson driving a school bus while being shot at by fighter jets and some aspects of the movie were just irritating and lazily written. Despite being a big budget action extravaganza with explosions and the rest of it I found myself bored at times as the movie failed to get me fully invested in what was happening which was a shame.

Overall, a few decent points here and there but largely forgettable and disappointing. It was a movie that didn’t need to be made as the first movie was so damn good, why tarnish it with a shoddy attempt at a sequel? At least it wasn’t the train wreck I thought it was going to be and instead was only a mild cycling accident.


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