Independence Day: Resurgence Was Predictable But Fun
For me, the 2016 summer movie season is all about nostalgia. With the exception of Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, most of the movies I looked forward to had clear links to my past.
It started with X-Men: Apocalypse. More than any other X-Men film, I thought this one would be closest to the 90s X-Men cartoon I adored. It had a whole new lineup of classic mutants but most of all, it had Apocalypse. Unfortunately, the infinitely powerful villain was completely wasted and the film suffered as a result.
Next came Warcraft. An adaptation I’ve waited over 20 years to see. I fell in love with the original Warcraft games when I was 11 years old and I couldn’t wait to see Duncan Jones’ vision of the franchise. Again, I was disappointed with the result.
Finally, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows came along. It had some fun moments and definitely improved on the reboot but disappointment resonated when the credits rolled.
So… I’ll be honest, I was skeptical when I sat down to watch Roland Emmerich’s long anticipated sequel: Independence Day: Resurgence.
It didn’t help that the film failed to ‘explode’ at the box office. The sequel also disappointed critics to the tune of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic…
Regardless of my skepticism, poor box office and negative reviews, I remained hopeful for an entertaining and fun summer blockbuster. Thankfully, Independence Day: Resurgence is all that and more! The movie isn’t perfect but it IS a perfect follow up the original.
Independence Day: Resurgence is a fun movie but I have to admit, I expected more than the ‘hive/destroy the queen’ story line. I was hoping for something a little more original from a sequel that had decades to bake.
The issue with a hive like species is predictability. As soon as you find out about the queen it’s easy to figure out the final act. Lure out the big bad alien and kill her. The end. Thankfully, the movie does a good job interspersing predictable plot points with fun action sequences.
When it comes to characters, the new cast does an admirable job capturing the spirit of the original. It’s ironic that the returning cast members, with the exception of Jeff Goldblum, slow the story way down. With all due respect to Vivica A. Fox and Judd Hirsch, you could easily remove them from the story and it would change nothing. The same can be said for Brent Spinner’s Doctor Oken but at least his eccentric antics help move the story forward. Regardless, Goldblum’s David Levinson carries the torch for the majority of the film before handing it off to the new cast.
A movie like Independence Day: Resurgence can completely crumble under the weight of it’s own hype. Perhaps that’s why Emmerich plays it safe between the giant visual set pieces we’ve come to expect from him. Sometimes, a harmless action blockbuster is exactly what you need in a summer that has largely disappointed on the big screen. Independence Day: Resurgence doesn’t do anything you can’t see coming a mile away and that’s okay because the ride is still fun.
As for the future, the ‘Sphere of Exposition’ does a great job setting up what could be a fantastic trilogy event. If humans are destined for interstellar travel, how do they plan on building ships that can compete with Harvesters and Alien ‘Super’ Queens? How many new species will we see when the humans lead the charge against the hive?
I wanted to see the alien’s home world in Resurgence but it didn’t happen. However, Independence Day 2 did enough to keep me interested when the third film is green lit in 47 years!