‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Review

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Written by Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, and James Vanderbilt

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, William Fichtner, Sela Ward, Judd Hirsch, William Fichtner, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox, and Angelababy

☆☆☆

“Independence Day: Resurgence” is the sequel to 1996’s best cable movie, “Independence Day.” “Independence Day: Resurgence” is easily the most sequel sequel ever made – if that makes any sense – and if that does not make sense, all it means is that “Independence Day: Resurgence” has a major case of sequelitis. I think that the phrase sequelitis is self-explanatory, but in case it is not, sequelitis means that like most sequels “Independence Day: Resurgence” tries to top its predecessor, with regards to special effects and set pieces, but the need for the film to be bigger and better ultimately hurts the movie.

The special effects in “Independence Day: Resurgence” are impressive. They are on the level of effects that you would expect from a movie of this budget, and they look great. A movie like “Independence Day: Resurgence” should have a ton of special effects, you expect it, and as long these effects are not awful, then the movie can throw them at you all they want. Here is the thing about “Independence Day: Resurgence,” the movie is just one special effects-driven set piece after another. The constant set pieces create a monotonous tone for the movie.

All these set pieces are placed into the movie at the expense of the movie’s plot. The plot of the movie – if you can even call it a plot – is that the aliens come back, why, who the hell knows, their back that is all that matters. Anything that they put into the movie to give the movie some emotional weight just falls flat. Any subplots and character arcs – or whatever you want to call them – are shoehorned into the movie to get you from set piece to the next. Plain and simple the plot lacked substance. Not substance as in the movie is a profound allegory or the “Citizen Kane” of sci-fi action films, but substance as in that there is something driving the narrative of the movie.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has great special effects, and by rights should be the perfect summer movie, but it is too reliant on the effects. There is nothing driving the plot – or non-plot – where there needed to at least be a reason the aliens came back or spend more time developing the subplots, so the movie has some weight to it.

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