Review: Independence Day: Resurgence
(sigh)…..Hello there Flicker Fans….I know, I know…I feel like I’m already starting this beloved review with a little malice and sadness….I’m starting it off with a “sigh” for God’s sake. I’m starting it off with a little malice….a tone of depression…..maybe even contempt. But hey, it’s starting off, and I’ll do my best to be a little optimistic when it comes to this review and talk about the “good, the bad, and yes….the ugly”…..Let’s talk about “Independence Day: Resurgence”.
ID2 (no, not R2D2’s long lost distant bastard brother, but Independence Day 2) was directed by Roland Emmerich, who actually directed the first one, just in case you were wondering where this guy came from. He also directed some of the other apocalyptic movies…you know, the ones that tend to engulf us as a human race basically making us look small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Yes, this guy likes to blow us up (or find other ways to destroy the planet). Independence day, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla (circa ’98, not the latest abomination), 2012, Stargate (which was amazing!) just to name a few of his movies. Or should I say, just to name a few of his movies that I’ve seen, because I have NEVER heard of “Moon 44” but I have heard of “Universal Soldier”….HELL yea!!! Bring on the old school Van Damme movie!!!
Ok, I’m starting to get side tracked here.
Here we have a movie that I really wanted to like. I mean, I wasn’t totally on board at first, but then when I watched a few more trailers I was like, “Yea, alright…you got me…I’m in.” Lord help me I wish I wasn’t.
Written by, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, and James Vanderbilt, this movie revisits a time when aliens not only exist, but they visit our planet, completely kick our ass into what feels like inevitable defeat, only to have the human spirit rally together and fight off the bad guys. WOOHOO!!! “Merica! HELL YEA! I’m sure you all remember watching the first movie some 20 years ago and thinking, “Yea, that’s exactly how that shit would go down…..this movie was amazing.” Was it? ehhhh, maybe….It was fun, a new idea, and starred one of Hollywoods biggest upcoming stars- Will Smith. Sadly, all we have in this movie are some fond memories of him, some photos, and his widow, Vivica A. Fox (and step son), but we’ll get to that. Will (from what I could tell) knowing his worth, asked for an obscene amount of money to reprise his role in this movie, and the studio declined to pay, so, that’s it….a few explanation lines of why he’s not here in the movie and we move onto our new heroes (and some old ones). And after watching this movie, you know why.
Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games franchise), Jeff Goldblum (reprising his role from ID4), Jessie T. Usher (When the Game Stands Tall, Survivors Remorse), Bill Pullman (another return actor reprising his role from ID4, Maika Monroe (It Follows, The Guest) all star in this sequel/remake/exact same story as the first one with a very impressive supporting cast. William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch, and Brent Spiner to name a few. So, let’s get right to it shall we?
This movie….was……not great. Don’t get me wrong, it had moments that were palatable. The special effects were kind of cool. The implementation of our technology with the aliens was fun to watch and “kudos” to the creative department with their imagining of what that might look like. But, for the most part, the story was just kind of sad (or lackluster). It’s almost like they were trying to have a Will Smith character in the film, but when you don’t CAST Will Smith, you can’t just say, “Hey, it’s cool….Liam will be able to take the reigns of this for us, and it’ll be a grand slam.” No….no it will not. This movie didn’t even break 50 million in its opening weekend. DAMN!!! For a movie that cost about $165 million to make, not making even CLOSE to that its first weekend out is just….well….not good.
But let’s talk a little more about this movie. I mean, seeing the story develop was fun, as well as the characters that we knew from the last one. Brent Spiner reprising his role as Dr. Okin was incredibly fun to watch. But then you have to ask the question, was the movie fun, or was his character fun? I’m going with his character. While it’s a little weird how they tried to keep him in the story, the idea of him being so “off” and staying with it was good. But I think that goes with enjoying him as a talented actor, opposed to the story being that good. I think, honestly, is that we’re attached to this story and these characters… but the original ones as opposed to these new characters. Granted, the first “Independence Day” was a little unbelievable, way out there, and quite “ra ra ‘Merica”, this one tried to get us just as attached without having characters that we can get attached TO. I don’t (or didn’t) really care about Liam’s character, or Jessie T. Ushers, or even Maika Monroe….but I did care about Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Jeff Goldblum, and Brent Spiner. Why? Is it because I was pretty much a kid when I saw the first one and my taste in movies has developed as an adult? HA!! Yea, right!!! I watch comic book movies, sci-fi, and just about any and everything else geeky, and I love it! But this….this didn’t resonate with me as much as the first one. Maybe it’s because I saw everything coming a mile away. Maybe because it’s just the same story, but this time they tried to make it that much more over the top, and it just didn’t land. Who knows? Was it fun? Eh, kind of….about as much fun as playing Monopoly with all of your friends….sure it’s kind of a good time while you’re doing it, all the money, the property, hanging out with your friends…but after awhile you’re kind of wondering, “Hmmm, when is this going to be over…I could be doing other things right now…like laundry.” That’s kind of the feeling that I had when I watched this. I had fun for a little bit, but then was just wondering when it was going to be over.
So lets recap, the movie was just ok. I actually would score it a 4 (maybe a 5 for creativity–the alien/man mash-up of weapons) but overall, this was rent-able. Not necessarily movie theater worthy…. I guess people just didn’t want to see the same thing they saw 20 years ago….shit….Ghostbusters might be in some serious trouble now that I think of it that way….take care Flicker Fans….