‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is yet another Roland Emmerich disaster film that is ultimately an advertisement for the USA’s greatness and freedom. But beyond all of that this is actually a really enjoyable film and it surprised me as to how good it actually was. Now this thing isn’t winning any Oscars for writing or acting thats for sure, but what it did is make an enjoyable, fun, mindless disaster film that you can just watch and not have to think too hard. The straightforward, linear plot is enough to keep things moving at a very good pace, the acting is sometimes cheesy but serviceable to the plot and the events of the film and the sci-fi action is actually quite cool. The film i guess can be predictable at times but there were times where i wasn’t even worried about what would happen next and i just accepted the type of film i was watching…. aliens attack so lets blow em up.
Roland Emmerich is known for his disaster films, some good, and some… well… they’re disasters. On a scale of ‘Independence Day’ to ‘Godzilla’ this sits closer to ID, but doesn’t quite reach the level of its predecessor. The main reason why ID was so much of a success over other disaster films and the reason i liked it so much was due to the characters. The film was full of really entertaining characters all of whom contributed to the film in different ways. This film brings back some of those characters/actors including Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, and Jeff Goldblum along with their personalities that were so good. And they were by far the best characters in the film, mainly because of their acting talents and how they were already established characters. But it replaces other characters/actors with Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T Usher, Maika Monroe, William Fichtner, and a flurry of other characters. Hemsworth had his moments here and there but always felt a little out of place, Usher just didn’t have the personality that Smith did in ID and so was hard to really get behind him. Monroe and Fichtner were some of the strongest new characters but even then they didn’t get enough attention to really shine through and get behind them.
But despite the inclusion of this younger cast, i didn’t miss Will Smith a single bit, in fact, i’m really happy we didn’t have his character return for this film. They wanted to go for something familiar but different and focus on some new characters, if they had Smith return for this film he would be front and centre and limit the creativity the film could explore. Plus we would have Jaden Smith as one of the dopey young pilots, and Willow’s music would be playing in the background, i’d rather not have to see that. In terms of the plot, it goes in the direction you pretty much expect it to go, nothing wrong with it though as it takes enough turns here and there to try and change things up a bit and there are some interesting elements that were quite cool. The action and the sci-fi space sequences was actually quite fun to watch, the whole alien technology warfare made it different to just regular gun fighting. And the CGI most of the time was quite good, especially on the aliens themselves, notably very different from the practical effects of the first film, but it really worked in this technologically advanced setting.
But there was this side plot that went on for the whole film, it didn’t take up a whole lot of time but it was 100% pointless to the main plot and was just there to get a character in. Judd Hirsch as Goldblum’s Dad really really really did not need to be in this film at all. His plot line was literally pointless and made no real impact on the rest of the film, felt very out of place and should not have been included at all.
So in the end, you should know by now exactly what you are going to be getting with this film. Of all the recent disaster films this is one of the best (which may not be saying much), and although it doesn’t quite reach the level of the first film, it acts as an enjoyable shut-your-mind-off sci-fi film with some good characters, great action, and a serviceable plot. The humour isn’t really that effective in this film but overall it was still surprisingly a good time. So when it releases tomorrow, you may want to check it out, if you know what you are going to get out of this film you will enjoy it a lot more than if you are expecting a masterpiece.