Independence Day: Resurgence opens with something reminiscent of a prologue that shows what has changed since the aliens lost the battle with us. It is promising at first but it quickly degrades to a by-the-numbers popcorn flick that is as non-memorable as it can get. By the time you get to the parking lot you have forgotten about it.
The script is so poorly written there’s no clear direction in which the film is headed. Not only does it try to follow a gazillion characters but it also fails to make them relatable save for a few that have more or less something that resembles depth. The first film worked because you cared about what’s going on and whether or not the protagonists will make it, a sense of danger. Here, about thirty minutes into the film you know everyone will make it out alive and well.
Most of the actors do as well as they can considering what abhorrent lines they have to deliver; 80% of them are predictable, cringe-worthy and clichéd. Liam Hemsworth is as boring and unimpressive as ever. Apart from the occasional charisma, he’s not interesting. He plays the same character the same way in all of his movies. Jeff Goldblum is good but hardly has any screen time. Maika Monroe was a nice surprise as it was her that I was invested in the most. She also proves to have range. There are far too many actors to talk about but most of them are just there, with no purpose.
The plot is all over the place. There’s no clear structure and it tries to be so many things it fails to be any of them. It wants to be a film about the outcome of saving the Earth and how the human kind unites to get stronger. It also tries to be mysterious but ends up being ridiculous. In addition, it tries to follow the path of many blockbusters with global destruction and yet it’s not convincing as the CGI is not commendable despite the budget. Oh, it tries to be a comedy as well, and perhaps, that is where it almost worked. I did have a couple of laughs, especially in one scene where a few people on a boat are getting drunk as apocalypse ensues but an opportunity strikes them. Sadly, more often than not I laughed at the movie, which is not what the filmmakers would want.
The most disappointing part was the ending for two reasons, the first one being the convenient deux ex machina. It undermines the supposed danger that the aliens pose to our planet and makes everything a bit too convenient. The second reason is the very ending–it begs for a sequel as it ends on a cliffhanger which I don’t think will be green-lit.
Some good could be found from time to time. Its cinematography is beautiful for the better part of the film but at some point the framing gets bizarre, uncomfortable even. At first it has epic scale, however, that quickly gets monotonous. The action is well-handled as well though sometimes I lost track of who was who in a fight.
Independence Day: Resurgence is an unnecessary sequel with no heart, point of existing, or smart characters, that feels as hollow as an empty watering pot.