Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defences be enough?
Long gestating sequels are something that’s no longer out of the ordinary in contemporary cinema so it’s no surprise the twenty years after the original, we now have Independence Day: Resurgence. Director Roland Emmerich returns along with several cast members of the original including Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, and Brent Spiner (while notably missing Will Smith).
Independence Day: Resurgence throws together a straight forward concept to try and redo essentially the same film again but with a few variations on the familiar theme. There’s more than enough in here that’ll please audiences simply wanting more of the same, but also with enough turns and alterations that spice up the events in a few different ways.
As with several of Emmerich’s films, and as per his broad filmmaking style – this is an event film, with a few plot details hanging off either end. It’s a fairly simplistic sequence that facilitates a big budget onscreen spectacle which doesn’t fail to entertain. Taking things a few steps further than the original, this film closes with the impression that Emmerich isn’t going to leave it another 20 years before Independence Day 3.
Filled with plot holes throughout, and bloated with too many characters, Independence Day: Resurgence seeks to one-up every element from the first film. Despite a solid two hour running time it’s unable to effectively balance all its moving parts but there’s no denying the sheer enjoyment factor that it delivers. It makes heavy use of visual effects which is to be expected in a film like this, but the quality varies at times as it seeks to make the most out of its limited effects budget.
Despite the loss of Will Smith in the film, there are more than enough returning cast members as well as returning characters to maintain a strong links and continuity between films. Brent Spiner is given more material here than previously and he effectively plays up the eccentric nature of his character, fighter jocks Liam Hemsworth and Jessie T. Usher have less to do than Will Smith did previously and so leave less of an impression, while Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are given decent amounts of screen time. Pullman has more varied material than Goldblum and still delivers some inspirational moments.
Resurgence is a sound Independence Day film in every sense, it’s grandiose, a spectacle, more style than substance, while being ridiculous and somewhat cheesy, but it’s an entertaining fun time at the movies.
I’m giving it 6 out of 10 stars, Independence Day: Resurgence is out in cinemas around Australia from Thursday 23rd June 2016.