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Indyfreak's Movie Reviews (504)

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Independence Day: Resurgence 
ID4:Resurgence could use a helluva lot of rewrites
2/4 stars

The biggest obstacle facing this long delayed sequel to the 1990s' quintessential blockbuster was how it could distinguish itself from all the other disaster films that borrowed from its far superior predecessor. Everything is bigger in this go-for-broke continuation of ID4's fight against alien invaders but notably, what has changed is now we're in a futuristic 2016 where alien technology and human resolve are united in a militaristic utopia.
The new cast members aren't terrible for the most part but not memorable. ID4 had some campy humor and hammy acting but at least you remember all the charismatic leads or quirky side characters. Some come back like Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spinder, and Judd Hirsch. The trio that we're supposed to consider our heroes (Monroe, Hemsworth, Usher) simply aren't interesting although Monroe does give a legitimately good performance. Replacing Will Smith is a daunting challenge, especially when you're cast as his son but Jessie Usher is not that person. He lacks the charm and magnetism needed for such a meaty role. Emmerich probably realized this and as a result, he's actually barely in the movie.
The visual effects are outstanding in spite of the movie's problems and the action is exciting stuff. This is what Roland Emmerich is best at and he revels in it. Getting to see more of the alien invaders than what was possible with 1996 level special effects is a plus.
Independence Day: Resurgence is not a good movie but it's hard not to appreciate the one thing it carries on from the original: sheer gonzo stupidity. The movie zooms back and forth from multiple characters and ignores its own internal logic but it's reasonably fun in the end. What makes it frustrating is that the movie does feature some great original ideas compared with the first movie but is so focused on being a straight up remake in some parts that these good ideas are just background details in the end.


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