Refuge Reviews-Independence Day: Resurgence
Independence Day: Resurgence is the epitome of big, dumb fun at the movies!
Resurgence is the sequel to the top money-maker of 1996, Independence Day, which was also directed by Roland Emmerich and starred Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. I would say that ID4 is one of my favorite movies to watch as its consistently entertaining with just the right amount of humor and action. The sequel however is something else entirely. ID4: Resurgence is not a good movie. Period. It is full of silly humor and lacks compelling characters. Will Smith does not return for this sequel, but at least we still have Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as Jeff Goldblum...er...wait...as David Levinson. He has to once again lead humanity in a fight for survival against alien invaders. Its been 20 years since the first movie both in real life and in movie time and humanity has banded together and formed the Earth Space Defense program, using the aliens technology to augment our own. We now have fighter jets with energy shields, a satellite laser defense system and best of all, a moon base!
Goldblum/David isn't alone in this adventure when the aliens return, but is joined once more by former President Thomas J. Whitmore (played again by Bill Pullman) who has been having flashes of images in his head of the aliens ever since the War of '96 and thinks he knows what is coming. Of course there is also the obligatory group of young characters including the kids of past characters like President Whitmore's daughter and Will Smith's character, Steven Hiller's son. But instead of having one of them be the new lead, the writers go with hotshot space tug pilot, Jake (played by The Hunger Games' Liam Hemsworth). It seems odd that they didn't just make Dylan Hiller the lead instead of Jake, which gives Dylan little to do in this film beyond dislike Jake and that is a problem for most of the characters actually outside of Jake and Goldblum/David. Most of the side characters are cartoonishly depicted and exceedingly one-dimensional (I'm looking at you, Doctor Okun!). As the characters begin to be picked off by the alien's attack, you just don't care about them. That's a problem when whole cities are getting destroyed and you don't feel any emotion about it beyond being impressed by the visual effects.
Did I mention the cringe-inducing humor? It is very childish and worse of all there is a lot of it! Bad one-liners, over-the-top characters that have no business in a movie like this, such as a government toadie named Floyd who tags along for no apparent reason except to overact and decisions made by the characters that are beyond dumb.
Luckily, despite these problems, you know what? I had a lot of fun watching this movie! ID4: Resurgence is the epitome of dumb, popcorn movie and some times its okay to enjoy a movie like this. Does it have any great message to teach you? No. Does it entertain with pretty CG explosions and alien space battles? Yes. The aliens are really cool especially the new Alien Queen and the battles both in aircraft and on-foot are very exciting. Plus Jeff Goldblum is always fun to watch with his dry one-liners and melodramatic dialogue. I shoved nachos into my mouthfor two hours and walked away with a smile on my face, a knowing smile that what I just watched didn't enrich my life in any way, yet I had fun! Sometimes that's all a movie needs to be!
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and destruction and for some language. This film is almost unrelentingly full of CGI carnage and explosions but very little of it is personal. Most scenes of death don't involve the characters that we presumably care about and when a character does meet their end its largely bloodless and usually implied or happens from a distance. There is some language but not much of it that you don't hear on regular television. There is also a homosexual couple that share some scenes but its pretty harmless and surprisingly cartoonish. So overall I would say that this film hits its rating right on with 13+ being appropriate for ID4: Resurgence.