Sunday, June 26, 2016

Independence Day Resurgence - Movie Review: I Wonder How Much China Will...

Can anyone still blame Will Smith for turning down this movie? He probably took one look at this script and said: Nope.

Independence Day Resurgence starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T. User, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film is the sequel to the 1996 giant blockbuster Independence Day. It tells the story of a new Alien invasion set twenty years in the future were the Earth has been preparing for another attack. The Earth has been at peace since the previous invasion and all of mankind has worked in harmony to prepare for the next battle.

I was on board with this film from the first trailer. I love the first Independence Day, not because it is a good movie, but because it is just a fun 90’s action science fiction adventure. Resurgence tries to capture some lost 90’s magic and it just misses the mark. The action in the movie is still really well done, and I enjoyed watching the film. I also laughed out loud on numerous occasions where the story makes zero sense. This film is going to be a guilty pleasure of mine, because while it is not a good movie, I still enjoyed watching it, and can sadly see myself watching it again. Maybe it has something to do with the expectations I had going into the film. I wasn’t expecting a great film, I wasn’t even expecting a good one from the trailers. I just wanted to watch Aliens blow up for two hours.

For the most part that is exactly what I got, because the story is the weakest part of the entire movie. The original Independence Day had a weak story in parts as well, but nothing to the degree of Resurgence. There are characters and stories in the film that could have been completely taken out and the movie would have been a little bit shorter, and probably better. Judd Hirsch is a great example of this. Yes I’m glad we got to see Jeff Goldblum’s characters dad again, but his story is a total waste in the film. It wasn’t needed and every time they would flash to his story I kept expecting something to pay off from it, but it never did. It almost seemed Emmerich wanted to have the exact same number of story lines he had in the original and doggedly keep to that number. At least Hirsch did well in playing the role.

Going into the film the acting was what I was most worried about. I felt the older actors like Goldblum and Pullman would handle their roles well, but I wasn’t sure about the young cast. Maybe it was my extremely low expectations, but I wasn’t bothered by anyone’s performance. No performance was as bad as any live action character in the Warcraft movie, and going in I was expecting those types of cringe worthy performances. I thought the worst of the bunch was Usher who played Dylan Hiller. He was still at least serviceable. I actually found myself enjoying Liam Hemsworth character. He was one dimensional, but I thought he did a good job in the role and was charismatic.  Hemsworth wasn’t given much to work with in the script or story, and I can’t fault him for that. He did the best with what he had, which I think most of the cast did. I think the standout of any performance was Maika Monroe who played Patricia Whitmore. I liked her interactions and believability in the story, except for a few scenes with Bill Pullman.

I was let down the most by some of the older cast. Goldblum did a passible job in playing David Levinson again, but how he was used in the story was almost pointless. They also don’t have the Margaret Colin, who played his wife in the original, in this movie. Emmerich doesn’t bring her up at all which was a huge misstep in the story. That was a major plotline in the first movie, and not to mention it at all is extremely poor storytelling for a sequel. At least say she died of cancer, or is in China as a government liaison or something. The movie was obviously playing to the Chinese market they could have easily pandered to them again with this as well.

Don’t get me wrong, having a diverse cast is a good thing. This movie has an inclusive cast, and that is one thing the movie gets right. Resurgence feels more like it is a world struggle against the Aliens than just the Americans leading the charge. Granted everyone looks to our President to make the ultimate call, but hey we figured out how to bring down the first Alien mother ship, we should have more control… Shouldn’t we? I just didn’t like the overt product placements trying to sell to the Chinese market, but I don’t like overt product placements trying to sell to the American market either. I don’t mind product placement in movies, just don’t make glaring.

Independence Day Resurgence isn’t a good movie. I did have fun watching it though, and I could see myself guiltily watching it again for a good laugh. Everyone who complains and hates on this movie is going to be justified because it isn’t good. It includes stories and characters it shouldn’t, and has way too many convenient coincidences to overlook. The finale is drawn out too long, and the emotional payoff is no were near as satisfying as the original. That being said for me it was Worth Seeing because I love the first movie, but for most people don’t bother, unless you just love pure action. I can’t see another sequel happening but we will see how the film preforms internationally.  

Tell me what you think of Independence Day Resurgence, if you made it out to see it. What is your favorite 90s action movie? Comment and let me know. 

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