They’re back, both the actors and the aliens. Oh, except for Will Smith and I think I know why. Resurgence is fun, but takes itself too seriously. What looked unbelievable and very Goldblum in the trailer, was totally lost in this 20-year-later sequel.
So, it’s a hell of a long time since the first invasion in ID4 in 1996 and Earth have merged their technology with the aliens’ to make everything faster and more Apple-like. They also have a moon base and a lot of other planetary defences to keep away the bad guys in case they return. And guess what? The defences don’t work. We’re treated to the same cast of the original which definitely put a smile on my face – the one and only Jeff Goldblum who plays scientist David Levinson. We’re also given some new cast members including the so hot right now Liam Hemsworth who is Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend.. Wait, what? And Maika Monroe (It Follows), who plays the pilot daughter of ex-president John Whitmore (Bill Pullman). Will Smith however, did not return for unknown reasons but maybe it’s because he knew it wasn’t a good idea? What starts off as an Independence Day film soon becomes a variety of borrowed film ideas. Basically, it’s kind of like a bad version of Aliens.
Resurgence is messy. It’s a rehash of the first film with even more inappropriate nationalism (a scene with Hemsworth in the mothership. You’ll know it when you see it) and a lot more unnecessary action, mainly with gravity. The effects are top notch, as one would expect from a Roland Emmerich directed film. But like majority of reboots and sequels this year so far, it just doesn’t live up to the expectation.
The first film was good old fashioned fun, an occasionally tongue-in-cheek blockbuster pleaser with beautiful effects and one hell of a memorable soundtrack by David Arnold. Emmerich was in his prime. With Stargate already under his belt Independence Day would be his next big hit. Other big budget blockbusters he’s done since then include The Day After Tomorrow and also 2012. Both successful at the box office and both ridiculously over the top disaster films. It seems that Emmerich has forgotten how to give warmth and adventure to a story. It’s all about blowing shit up now. Blowing shit up is great and sometimes very beautiful with the right CGI, but that gravity scene was just ridiculous. Lasers. There should have been more lasers.
I fear that with his explosions and offensive humour on the rise, Emmerich is fast turning into Michael Bay.