Independence Day Resurgence: Twenty Years On, Time Hasn’t Been Kind
Jeff GoldblumLiam Hemsworth
In 1 Cinema
Given that it’s taken twenty years for director Roland Emmerich and writer Dean Devlin arrive at a continuation of their 1996 sci-fi blockbuster, Independence Day, we’re not sure whether to be surprised at how utterly uninvolving Resurgence really is, or whether we should have expected that, with a two-decade gap between films, it was always going to be difficult to capture the same essence of the original.
Over the twenty years after the events of Independence Day, humanity has been preparing itself for the possibility of another extra-terrestrial attack, hoping that their newly-found technologies, weapons and defence-systems – built from the alien equipment and machinery left behind by the last visitors – will can fight off any outside threats.
When not seducing a Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Gainsbourg), tech-guru David Levinson (Goldblum) sits as the head of global defense and research program, Earth Space Defence. When an even larger alien-space ship returns to the planet with plans of drilling all of the Earth’s resources, familiar faces are soon pulled into the chaos, including ex U.S President Thomas Whitmore (Pullman), David’s father, Julius Levinson (Hirsch) and a fighter pilot, Jake Morrison (Hemsworth) and Dylan Hiller (Usher).
What should have been a large-than-life spectacle has instead resulted in painfully dull extension of what stands as one of the first sci-fi blockbusters of its kind. With a bigger but not a necessarily a better premise to work with, Emmerich struggles to keep his centre, with the film’s focus become incoherent and its storylines and characters flimsy. The destruction sequences – which naturally go on to blow all major global landmarks – are over-the-top and while the sight of the three-thousand mile wide alien ship does stand out as one of the most spectacular things about the entire movie, there is very little human-connection in the film or stress on what’s really at stake.
With Will Smith opting to stay out, Resurgence ends up relying on the wit and charm of Jeff Goldblum and the handsome-heroism of Liam Hemsworth to carry the movie through the wreckage; a task for which unfortunately, none of their thinly-drawn characters are able to realise. Loud but somehow still dull, the spirited nature of its predecessor is completely diminished – overall, a quite unnecessary sequel.