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Review – Independence Day: Resurgence


Once again, humanity finds itself in worrying times as a destructive force swoops over the land. Using its own gravitational field, it sucks up buildings and people before spitting them back down to Earth in a devastating fiery heap. Slimy, tentacled beings watch on as civilisation literally crumbles beneath them. But enough about the EU Referendum, let’s review Independence Day: Resurgence.

Independence Day: Resurgence, which I shall refer to as ‘IDR’ or ‘I Don’t Recommend’, is a film that depicts the world’s resolve against an alien invasion. Again. The last one happened exactly 20 years ago and humans have since salvaged extra-terrestrial technology to make useful things, like helicopters without propellers and massive TVs. They’ve also mounted a single laser to the surface of the moon, deciding that no other form of defence is necessary. These advancements have miraculously brought the planet together; nations, ethnicities and religions – it’s the most farfetched thing to happen in this piece of science fiction about a spaceship the size of fucking Russia.

But despite this new ship being so huge it sprawls over Earth like a wet flannel on a baby’s head, it’s actually more flawed than the previous model. Not only does it have several gaping entrances, like your mum, it also has a detachable compartment containing the queen. Kill her and the film ends. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in the first twenty minutes. Instead, we’re forced to swallow a terribly contrived backstory explaining why we have a generic black character (Jessie T. Usher) in place of Will Smith.

Liam Hemsworth’s Jake Morrison is equally uninteresting, going through the motions like an Action Man doll owned by a child who can’t yet construct narratives. This vacuous duo is meant to replicate the charm and wit of the original, but instead produce actual physical cheese that pours out of the screen. The audience can only consume so much before they inevitably vomit or pass out from the Stilton fumes.

Even Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as David Levinson can’t inject charisma into this soulless, depressing debacle. There’s no new moment of ingenuity for him to enjoy and the closest his dialogue comes to being funny is a cheap reference to the first film. Where he once piloted a daring mission into the heart of the mother ship, he’s now reduced to driving a school bus filled with children around the desert. It’s just sad.

Director Roland Emmerich also brings back Bill Pullman as President Whitmore, recycling his entire arc but this time giving him a walking stick and a beard. Although, towards the end of the film he ditches both, rendering him a nostalgic loon with a weakened sense of spectacle and no facial hair to admire. If only a plethora of supporting characters were interesting enough to distract from this.

Most depressingly, this all looked better 20 years ago. Meaningless CG destruction just doesn’t compare to actually blowing up a large model of the White House. Even the aliens have been given a twenty first century makeover, but still aren’t fortunate enough to be clothed.

Independence Day: Resurgence is one of the worst films I have ever seen. This realisation was cemented when it transpired that the reason for Earth’s survival is complete and utter luck. We end with the promise of interstellar travel, an intergalactic war and the characters arrogantly accepting the challenge, like mindless college sportsmen. “We’re gonna kick some serious alien ass,” says one of them. “No we’re not,” I replied as I got out of my seat and immediately started my cleansing process.


Words by Chris Edwards

Twitter: @CineWipe



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