Independence Day: Resurgence review

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Disclaimer: Mild spoilers.

Couple of years ago when the Centropolis entertainment announced the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster film Independence day, three things went through my mind; “why does a film with a perfect build up and climax require a sequel?”,” did Hollywood run out of themes?” and “is this another disastrous sequel from the filmmakers who aspire to make money rather than to keep the audience entertained?”. Films released under centropolis is famous for their trailers which show powerful visuals to fascinate the audience, which is exactly what happened in my case. Over 6 months ago, I came across the trailer of ID: resurgence at YouTube and after witnessing the visuals including the return of the major characters, I anticipated for the film’s release. Independence day 1996 is not a perfect movie and it had many flaws but, like I have mentioned it in my Independence day review, the movie played a major role in my childhood and growing up. So, I had the nostalgic sentiments which also persuaded my brain which kept saying otherwise, especially after witnessing what was done to Terminator Genisys, to watch this movie. I predicted that the movie will either be enjoyable or disagreeable. I-was-absolutely-right-about-the-latter. Why was this even made???

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I watched Independence day the day before watching this film, therefore I couldn’t help but compare them both. Independence day: resurgence is nothing more than a parody film with the depiction of the events that took place in its predecessor presented in a comic manner which makes one…

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While Hollywood is dominated by the excess CGI culture, it is indeed painful to watch a film which is more about CGI gimmicks where kids who graduated from animation and rotoscopy school wanted to experiment. In spite of all the pointed out issues as far as the structure is concerned, Independence day had perfect build-up, suspense, and resolution. The treatment had enough drama, humor, character development, depth to storytelling and action. The presentation is classy with sheer strong visuals, in a way it brings out emotions and goosebumps. This is exactly where this movie failed.

The direction reminded of Michael Bay’s humor in films and even the serious situations turned out to be an unintentional comedy. The director who contributed a lot to my childhood just desecrated it with this abhorrent sequel, Mr Emmerich you broke my heart…

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ID: resurgence began with distortion of the characters which is THE worst aspect about this movie. Dr Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner) is apparently alive and is in a 20 year long coma. After watching his performance, when he woke up, one may think “why didn’t he just stay dead?”. In 1996 version, Dr Okun’s nerdy appearance had a specific standard before the aliens “infected him“, which went all beserk, and his gay moments with his assistant is just repulsive. The movie introduced several fresh faces, notably Liam Hemsworth as Jake, who is an orphan. His  parents were killed in the 1996 war and he is currently a fighter pilot who is also dating Patricia Whitmore, ex-president Thomas J Whitmore’s daughter played by Maika Monroe. Hemsworth delivered an unattractive performance with unadept comic timings and even worse character development. He is having a rift with Dylan Hiller (Jesse Usher) who was almost killed by Jake during a flight, and yes that’s the best depth the story writers could bring. How did Dylan compensate? By giving Jake a punch at a public place. So matured for someone who is ranked as one of the best officers, also classified under superstar credentials. Politics regarding fame and position is introduced in a satirical manner where rich orphan children entered the popular squadron although Jake is shown as more talented. Point raised there though.

The best thing about this film is Maika Monroe who managed to deliver a controlled performance with her expressive face. She had a showdown at the end where a major contribution was made by her to make the situation less intense during the war. Unlike its predecessor, women had better role, only better.

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Sela Ward plays the president Hillary Clinton, I mean Elizabeth Lanford, the first woman to sit in oval office thus garnering another set of expectations as she the first female president in a major motion picture depicted as *seemingly* potent scenario. But she hardly did anything impressive other than preparing a speech for the celebration, which was given priority over a possible danger deduced by David Levinson. Then her character is killed off as she tried to put up a brave face. So much for Hillary Clinton tribute.

Watching Bill Pullman in this movie as the now changed Thomas J Whitmore, did send a sharp pain at the back of my head. The character who impressed the audience with his speech is limited to the degree of a spoof, probably created on demand from haters of the original film. The one who inspired world unity could barely spill out enough words at a conference when the world was apparently in danger. Watching him in that scene was equivalent to the nasty experience of watching Tom and Jerry movie, where 2 beloved characters from the silent era spoke and sang ludicrously.  Jasmine Dubrow (Vivica A Fox) came in just for the sake of coming in, why did she even come? Her role lasted for less than 15 minutes on-screen and afterwards we won’t even remember her.

When the film was announced, I was tadbit disappointed when I came to know that Will Smith won’t be involved in this movie, he mentioned in an interview that he was doing suicide squad which coincided with the shoot of this movie. But, he made a clever decision by not coming back as his character was spared of the terrible writing. Steven Hiller is the beloved character and atleast he was given a perfect tribute. If the writers played with his integrity then probably the fans will go.

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Jeff Goldblum stuck to the core version of David Levinson thanks to his nerdy specs and stuttering speech. He is drawn to the woman named Catherine (Charlotte Gainsborough); which raises the question, where’s Connie?  David and Whitmore meet at a point and reminisce their days during the 1996 war. They hardly mention the major reason behind their connection, Constance Spano. One of the most striking aspects about original was the reunion of David and Connie during the crisis. Margaret Colin was less impressive in her role, but since when did our nerdy David become a flirt? Also, David is seen to crack an inadvertent joke after witnessing two cities being destroyed completely about peeing in his suit, contributing to the steadfast flow of the pace, adding insult to the injury.

Technically, the blue tint and 3D effects hardly left anything visually impressive. I could hardly see what was happening on screen. The quality of the picture was blurred to an irritating level. But the sound effects were good enough to assuage the experience of watching the characters in action. The CGI team have outdone themselves in their attempts to make the aliens and spaceships look fearsome. The disaster sequences looked as if its inspired by man of steel level of destruction upgraded to 2012 level. This movie had several moments copied from its predecessor which itself is a carbon copy of several sci-fi flicks and it is quiet understood that the visual effects team tried to hide all such details with their overdone work. The beginning of the film was quiet impressive, especially the logo presentation although this thrill didn’t last for long. Trying to assuage the “hyperpatriotism” argument received by independence day, ID resurgence had characters from other countries doing important roles. And a positive steak is that we get to see aliens in action instead of limiting their presence inside the ships they’re operating. And the climax scene is overdone to an intolerable level and the appearance of gigantic alien could not described with a mediocre word like “cheesy”. But nothing more can be expected from an already ruined flick thanks to the structuring and treatment process. Not to mention this is written by five writers. Five writers. Basically each of their personalities and possible non compliance backed by opinion differences is reflected. How did both Mr Emmerich and Mr Devlin deal with the way their characters are depicted, or did it look like masterpiece to them?

Independence day resurgence is the worst sequel to a movie since Terminator Genisys, watching it was a painful process for me, especially as the fan of the 1996 version. I just feel bad that this is farewell film for the late Robert Loggia, who delivered an impressive performance as the profound General Gray in the original, the original version had a class which could not be misconstrued.. Even otherwise, deducing all the flaws is not a tiresome work. Hopefully this review might give you an idea, but the entertainment value might vary as far the audience’s perceptions are concerned. Many others enjoy this film with the ample amount snowy thrills it produced. As a sequel, independence day 2 is horrendous, but as an independent film, maybe it could be enjoyed one time based one’s interest. Basically this is a filtered copy of the original made into an unintentional comic parody.

1/5

Featured image: youtube.com

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2 Comments

  1. Yes I agree with you. The sequel feels like the first movie was a fluke by the makers. What I had been impressed with the original ID was it’s character creation. All the major character were well constructed solid figures. The performances by the respective stars made them even more impressive. Ask you mentioned, the President Whitmore and his puzzled face remain dominant. Jeff goldblum and Will Smith as David and Steve were adorable. But there had been several even more powerful supporting characters like Julius Levinson, The general, Russell Case, Jasmine, secretary of defense and even the children of Mr. Case.. All had life and depth. Even though it was a flawed story, I loved the story telling just because of the solid characters and their relationships.
    Yes, as you mentioned rightly one of the most favourite moments in the first movie was Connie holding the hands of David at the wedding of Steve and Jasmine.
    The sequel killed it all. There had been nothing left to remember after watching ID2. It was all noise and destruction with lifeless 🎎 falling dead or lost..
    A 100% disappointment to me

    Liked by 1 person

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