I wasn’t a fan of the first Independence Day. It was beautifully made but the implausibility of the ending spoiled the first movie for me. The sequels more sense (nowhere to go but up, I suppose). Though did we really need a sequel? Independence Day: Resurgence follows the first film faithfully (it also follows the current Franchise Colon Iteration naming convention). Humanity is invaded by a vastly superior force bent on the total destruction of the planet and mankind beats them back by sheer moxie.
Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?
Mild Spoiler here: The thing the aliens are after in this movie is our planet’s molten core. Never mind that there are presumably other power sources and also never mind that there are molten cores on uninhabited planets. The aliens are dicks – they only want the molten cores that someone else was using. …to power their spaceships…because Technology… Actually I don’t want to get into the science of this because I’m not really smart enough to REALLY get into it, but intuitively it seems to me (the same level of scientific rigor this film uses) that if a ship the size of the entire Atlantic Ocean was heated up by entry into Earth’s atmosphere and then landed, all life on Earth would already be in pretty big trouble.
I know I’m being unfair. But if you’re going to use the genre of Science Fiction, you should at least make your plot seem scientifically plausible. It’s not. It’s really not. But seriously, science isn’t what this movie is about and I should have known this going in. Independence Day is based on one premise and one premise alone: Aliens are Awesome. And they are. I’ve never seen a movie play with the sheer differential of scale as well as this one does. The Alien ship is massive, what it does is massive and we are tiny. They did this in Jurassic World (which this film reminds me of, for some reason) but they did it better here. There were awe inducing scenes that were worth the price of admission.
That being said, Independence Day (colon) Resurgence was not very secure about its very real strengths. In the middle of a breathtaking scene involving a tidal wave or some other vast wave of destruction, it would interrupt the action to heighten the tension by introducing a puppy or baby or something. You already had me, ID:R, now you’re just trying too hard. But even with that (and it happened more than once) the mood was not spoiled – I was awed several times while watching this film. It’s another movie that could have benefited from a stern yet fair Terrifying Editor. The pacing wandered a bit. There were scenes and characters that didn’t need to be there except to refer back to the last movie or to set up a sequel. Focus on the quality of THIS film, Independence Day. If you’re good enough (or even barely adequate) then it doesn’t matter if you set up a sequel or not, they’ll make one.
The acting was amazing, particularly Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner. And mercy, but Liam Hemsworth is handsome! (Though they kept his shirt on the entire time – why?) I liked special effects. They built suspense well in the first act. There were also some very funny moments and well delivered lines throughout. And it really does show some amazing visuals.
So is Independence Day: Resurgence worth watching? Pretty much. It really IS a solid Summer Blockbuster and it doesn’t need to be more than that. If you liked the first one, you’ll definitely like this one. The ending was MUCH more believable. Still, I’m not sure I can, in good conscience, recommend seeing it in the theater in 3D (except for some of the visuals). Maybe just rent it in HD and sit really close to your screen.