Weekly Review: Independence Day – Resurgence (2016)

Earth has had 20 years to develop a plan against future attacks from a hostile alien race. On the anniversary of the original attack, the aliens return. Unfortunately, they’ve had 20 years to prepare against us as well.

When it was announced that there was going to be an Independence Day sequel, set 20 years after the original (when the original was released 20 years ago), I was incredibly excited. I just love when movies do that. It hit theaters in the middle of summer, and a summer blockbuster is definitely what Independence Day: Resurgence attempts to be.

Similar to the first movie, Roland Emmerich directed, produced, and had a role in the screenplay. If you are familiar with Emmerich, this should give you as much information as you need about what type of movie this is. Some original cast members returned for the sequel as well, including Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, and Sela Ward. The absences of other important characters are explained through dialogue or small story elements.

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New additions to the Independence Day cast include Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Maika Monroe (It Follows), and Jessie Usher (Survivor’s Remorse). While these aren’t the only new additions, they are probably the most important ones. These characters are the children of this new world where aliens have attacked, technology has shifted, and they have grown up with parents lost in the battle. They will be the characters that catapult the story forward.

I think one of the most interesting aspects of Resurgence is looking at the year 2016, in this alternate timeline where the technology has progressed immensely with the use of alien tech. It’s a timeline where there are hover-cars, and people can travel into space with knowledge and ease. This definitely paints an interesting picture of what could be, while at the same time showing the devastation that the human race can recover from.

Within this sequel, the aliens return, and they’ve devised a much harder attack for us to stop. They know what we’re capable of, and they’ve brought reinforcements. The movie attempts to bring in aspects from other alien races, and incorporates the new technology in acceptable ways.

Unfortunately, similar to the original Independence Day, this sequel lacks in many areas. It seems to follow a pattern, and it lacks a lot of the emotional depth that would make it stand out. Of course, this is to be expected from a movie like Independence Day: Resurgence. It’s meant to be cheesy and fun with no real depth, but in many ways, it still seems to miss its mark. The original was definitely better.

I’ve noticed a trend in Hollywood films as of late. There’s lots of franchises. Maybe you noticed? Way too many movies are ending in ways that support a sequel that hasn’t even gotten the green light yet. Resurgence does it by introducing multiple alien races and the idea of interstellar travel. If there ever is another film in this Independence Day franchise, it will not follow the same mold as its predecessors. It won’t wage another battle for Earth. It will take the battle to the enemy.

Take that how you will. If you’re a fan of alien science fiction and/or the works of Roland Emmerich, then you may enjoy Independence Day: Resurgence. Overall, the movie isn’t meant to be taken very seriously, and it’s better if watched without high expectations. It’s just a fun summer movie, that happens to be a sequel to another fun summer movie.

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