Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) Movie Review

By: Bill Arceneaux (Six Pack) –

“We had twenty years to get ready” is the first part of the poster tagline for sequel retcon buster Independence Day: Resurgence. Indeed, it has been twenty years since the first flick – a summer extravaganza remembered all too fondly – and, as it goes, we DID have all that time to prepare ourselves. To make a sequel and to anticipate a sequel. But, of course, we either were too busy with fads and trends to care or grossly underestimated the size and scale of sucking that would be.

To 2016’s most boring movie, I say “We never had a chance”. And there’s no Bill Pullman to lift my spirits with a rousing speech.

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Go ahead. Try.

A Toast

It had lasers. Cool looking lasers. Bright lasers. This is the George Lucas consolation prize.

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Beer Two

At once, I relish and detest having to go through, beer by beer, an explanation as to why I felt this was a bad movie. Flick or movie. NOT film. There is a distinction. And producer Dean Devlin would agree, infamously saying “We like popcorn movies”. He and Emmerich may like them, but did they forget what makes a popcorn movie fun? Did they recently graduate from the Happy Madison school of production?

There is just no energy to any of the story. When witnessing the massive destruction of London, on a scale larger than Man of Steel, our heroes fly a ship in and out of falling buildings, with expressionless looks on their faces. Probably because they were staring at green screen. And were probably given little direction. Some of the actors are trying (Goldblum and Pullman), some aren’t (Gainsbourg and space egg) and others don’t know how (Hemsworth).

Half-hearted one liners are given to half-hearted actors to be delivered half-heartedly. The miniatures and models of the first movie give way to ugly CGI and false backgrounds. The editing makes the movie fly by with no space to breath or invest in the danger. For all of the effects at play, there is no gravity or weight to what we see or “feel”.

It’s. Just. All. So. Boring.

Beer Three

Brent Spiner is back as Dr. Okun – cause we all remembered his name? – despite clearly dying in the original. Now, he wears a nice scarf around his neck and shows off his ass in a hospital gown. All while acting his eccentric self. Remember that wacky alien doctor? REMEMBER HOW IMPORTANT HE WAS TO YOUR ENJOYMENT!?

No offense is meant to Mr. Spiner, as he does fine here. This is all the fault of Emmerich and his goons.

Beers Four, Five and Six

Dr. Okun gets a “Why God? WHY!?” moment, crying over the body of a character we never get to know. Congrats! You just wasted precious screen time.

Liam Hemsworth asks Goldblum a jokey question “Did you pee yourself?”. After nodding, Liam smiles and admits to doing the same. Congrats! You just made a potentially comedic moment awkward and overdone.

The lead singer of The Mountain Goats – or rather a guy who looks like him – appears to be the only character to have some kind of an arc. Congrats! And I mean it this time.

Verdict

Independence Day: Resurgence might be as bad as Fifty Shades of Black, but for different reasons. Both are insults, for sure, but where Black was an exercise in vulgar vulgarity for the sake of patting oneself on the back, ID4:2 is a stretch of 48 hour TV binge watching on a recliner, covered in snacks, soda, and its own waste. Happy 4th of July and kudos to Will Smith!

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Six Pack

Independence Day: Resurgence Drinking Game

Take a Drink: each and every time Jeff “Chef” Goldblum says some science jargon.

Take a Drink: if you notice a hint of motivation or interest in Charlotte Gainsbourg’s performance.

Do a Shot: at Roland Emmerich, preferably when alone with no bystanders. Oh wait…

About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

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