Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence Theatrical Review

Independence Day: Resurgence is the long awaited sequel to Independence Day. Set in an alternate universe where following the attack depicted in the original film back in 1996, the people of the Earth have united and reversed engineered alien technology to create bases in the solar system and a defense array of satellites to protect the planet. On the twentieth anniversary of the attack two alien space craft enter Earth space. One is a sphere containing an object that looks like the Embassy Pictures logo painted white and the other is an even larger alien starship approximately as large of the distance across the Atlantic Ocean from the East Coast of the United States to the United Kingdom. The two ships have arrived  with agendas for humanity. Will the survivors of the first war and the fighters of this second figure out what they want before the planet is destroyed?

Independence Day: Resurgence is unapologeticly schlocky and just as silky and dirivative of original and better Sci-Fi books and movies and it is a popcorn film pure and simple, but unlike the almost post World War II Patriotism that reminded the viewer we were in the side of good and would not go into extinction without a fight, post 9/11 cynicism kind of creeps into the film despite the fantastic special effects and action sequences. The film left me feeling like I was nursing a wounded animal that was now nervous about any contact it has with anything regardless of whether or not the intentions are favorable toward it. 

Brent Spiner is the highlight of the film and one hopes they bring him back if they make another because this one basically ends with the setup for what could be a great sequel. Sadly everyone else seems to be phoning it in. Jeff Goldblum is basically being Jeff Goldblum and I don't fault him for that because since his villainous role in Deep Cover, Jeff Goldblum has just been playing Jeff Goldblum in every movie he appears in. Judd Hirsch is saddled with a return role that feels just added because he was in the first one, but considering how talented Hirsch is as an actor from his days on Taxi to some of his dramatic feature film roles in the 1980s, one has to wonder why he agrees to play such a one dimensional character regardless of the paycheck. Bill Pullman was very likable in the first one. So the last thing I wanted to see was the morose performance he turns in with this sequel. 

Everyone else is either just there or are one note characters. I wasn't expecting Shakespeare from Independence Day: Resurgence and I guess viewers who saw the first one will have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but essentially I can sum up this entire story by stating aliens attack the Earth again and we try and fight back the same way we did the last time and none of it works so we try something else. That's it. As long as you know that is what to expect, then you should be able to enjoy Independence Day: Resurgence exactly as it should be enjoyed. With a hot bucket of popcorn on your lap, a cold drink at your side, and your brain left at home.

(C) Copyright 2016 By Mark A. Rivera.
All Rights Reserved,