Ha! For so long, no one thought it would happen. But then, we the devoted fanbase of stupid 90’s sci-fi alien shoot-em ups headlined by the coolest man in the world, Will Smith, and the Duke of Uhs, Jeff Goldblum, got a serious announcement about the sequel we’ve been wanting since… always. But much to our dismay, Smith isn’t part of the project. Um… kinda lame. But Goldblum’s back, and I’ll take it. Plus, this movie looked like it would embrace its own universe by advancing human technology by adapting the alien tech for ourselves, making us prepared for the inevitable return of the aliens. And here they are, just as prepared as we were. And the return of Bill Pullman, some new additions as well, like Liam Hemsworth (I’m a little meh on that one), this looked like it’d be a fun ride. So yeah, I kinda wanted to see it. I didn’t think it’d be good or anything, but there’s nothing wrong with some stupid sci-fi fun. Is this sequel bigger and better than the last, or does it tank worse than a crazy redneck going kamikaze on it? This is my honest opinion of INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE.
It’s been twenty years since the aliens attacked Earth and were defeated. Earth has enjoyed a kind of unity and technological growth thanks to their continuing understanding of the alien tech, even building space stations on the moon, Mars, and a moon on Saturn. On Earth, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), now the director of the Earth Space Defense (ESD), has found his way to Africa to explore the only alien ship that landed and discovered that the ship was intending to drill. But before it was destroyed, it sent out a distress signal to its homeworld. Around the time of this discovery, the moon encounters a wormhole and an alien machine, looking very much like a spy probe, emerges. The ESD, thinking this is the vanguard of the aliens’ return, fire upon the object and destroy it, despite David saying it couldn’t be the aliens from before. But before celebration can be sustained, an alien mothership, 3000 miles wide, arrives and makes a beeline for Earth, but not before effectively destroying the moon base. Having destroyed much of Asia and Europe, it settles over the Atlantic Ocean to drill into the Earth for its core, wiping out the human race. Now it’s up to David, ESD pilots Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), son of the late Captain Steven Hiller, Captain Dylan Dubrow-Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), former President and mentally unstable Thomas Witmore (Bill Pullman), and the rest of humanity to rise up against the aliens again and defend their right to live.
Have you seen the reviews as of late? The comments and reactions? Yeah, they all sound about right. But you know something, whereas a majority of it is all hate and borderline insult, I personally don’t hate this movie. Yes, it’s stupid. But you know what else is stupid? The first movie.
Look, INDEPENDENCE DAY is something of a childhood classic for me. I loved it. It was probably one of the first movies to introduce me to the living embodiment of cool himself, Will Smith, as well as the quirky and lovable Goldblum. Pullman’s speech toward the end is probably one of the best written rallying speeches in cinematic history. And you know something else? At no point when I bought my movie ticket, or sat down in my seat, did I think this movie was going to measure up to the first one. Not by a long shot. I did not care. I wanted to see a dumb human/alien shoot ’em up. I wanted mindless entertainment and that’s exactly what I got.
First of all, has it hit any of those insulted viewers that the director of this movie was Roland Emmerich? ROLAND EMMERICH! His pedigree consists of almost nothing but bad movies. INDEPENDENCE DAY and possibly THE PATRIOT are the only real exceptions. STARGATE? Please, the TV shows spawned from that are significantly more beloved than the movie that no one talks about. GODZILLA (1998)? Universally hated. THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, 10,000 B.C., 2012, WHITE HOUSE DOWN, please tell me which of these movies was any good. Hell, the last movie Emmerich did was STONEWALL, a biopic about the Stonewall Riots; considered to be the worst movie of his career. With an entire resume consisting of bad, stupid, or insulting movies, suddenly RESURGENCE doesn’t seem like it would break the mold, does it? “Respect the original movie,” my ass. Did George Lucas respect the original Star Wars trilogy when he made the prequels? Did Steven Spielberg respect Indiana Jones when he made KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL? Did John Hughes respect either BEETHOVEN or HOME ALONE when he wrote the third and fourth movies to both franchises? The list can go on, guys!
If it feels like I’m defending this movie, clearly I’m not doing a very good job because, well, I’m not really defending it. It’s bad. Even really bad. But who in their right minds expected otherwise?
But enough about the reaction to this movie, what exactly did I like about it? Well, honestly, kind of everything. I like how the alien tech was incorporated into our society. I feel like it would have been too easy to dismiss what we would learn from the technology in order to make the world look like what we really do look like. Our fighter jets have laser weaponry, our artillery has similar firepower to that of the ships that laid waste to our cities, it’s pretty neat to see how far the human race came. Granted, we don’t see how it affects every day life for the average person, but that’s not the focus. And we are clearly shown to be able to fight back with our new weaponry, instead of relying on deus ex machinas to save our skins. If someone were to say that it takes away the threat that the aliens had against us, it does in a way. But the aliens clearly still overpower the humans, and they still have to figure out how to outwit them, but at least there’s a fighting chance this time around.
There’s a mention that there’s an intergalactic war going on and the aliens that we’ve been fighting are the big bads of the galaxy. I like how there’s an allusion to us being pulled into that conflict and, I won’t lie, I’m very excited to see where this goes. Do I actually expect to see that planned third Independence Day movie? Not really, the movie is currently tanking at the box office, and Emmerich (or someone working on this project) said that they’ll make the third one depending how the sequel does. Well… it’s not getting a warm reception, nor is it pulling in big cash numbers. But hey, sequels seem to find a way in this day and age. I’d be bummed out if we didn’t cap off this now-franchise, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.
I like how we’re now seeing a lot of the aliens and them on the ground putting up a fight. That was something we didn’t see in the first film. Now it really is an “us versus them” kind of movie and I really like how Emmerich went in this direction. Again, I feel like it would have been too easy to try and recapture how threatening they are and to only see one alien up close. Now we get quite a bit of up close and personal encounters with the grunt forces.
Yeah, there’s a lot of pointless stuff too. There’s this little family of refugee kids driving to safety only to pick up David’s dad, Julius (Judd Hirsch). There’s a pointless rivalry between Jake and Dylan that plays no real part in the movie, physics gets a gigantic middle finger, and the aliens are a blatant rip-off of the Reapers from the video game franchise MASS EFFECT (seriously, I died laughing at that realization). And I’m sure if I sat down and really pinpointed every single flaw of the movie, the list would take longer to read than to just watch to film.
Overall, yeah, if you were expecting something to truly evolve and become some high-class sci-fi epic, you’re probably going to hate it. If you thought this movie might even be close to how special the first movie was, you’re probably going to hate it. But if you keep your expectations low, where they should be, and just want to see a brainless human versus alien romp, I think you’ll enjoy this movie just fine. I wouldn’t outright dismiss the negative reviews, just know that everything they felt was an insult on their childhood, is more or less just exaggeration. Everything bad about it is what makes it entertaining and worth a couple hours of your time. If you want to pass on it, I won’t blame you, you probably aren’t missing out, but if you’re interested, go check it out.
My honest rating: 3/5 as a whole, 4/5 for entertainment value.
- FREE STATE OF JONES
- THE NEON DEMON