The first Independence Day film came out July 2nd 1996, when I was thirteen years old (THIRTEEN!). I was young, so I loved this film. It was amazing in a few ways; likeable, relatable characters, played by Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman. The script makes these characters interesting and alive, and the audience wants them to succeed. The act of film construction was amazing also, as they actually built sets and blew them up, with a little CGI thrown in as frosting. Real sets as backdrops and physical creatures as enemies. I really enjoyed its fun adventure story, as it made you feel something for the loss these humans faced – millions of humans died in this first movie. And just as you think that humanity may be lost, Bill Pullman makes a speech: “we will not go quietly into the night”. And you say “YEA, fuck these aliens!”
Story (Plot) 2-5 Independence Day Resurgence takes place 20 years later. Humanity has survived and is prepared for another attack should the alien destroyers return. This generation is full of the PTSD-suffering survivors and war trained orphans. It seems like a cool idea, and a solid jump off point into a new battle – except it stops being interesting there. The aliens have no plan; they just kind of bungle around leaving the humans’ weapons and preparations pointless. The plot leaves you with the idea of these groups as two idiots staring at each other. The characters prattle on about how the alien ship is bigger than the ships before, but besides its first attack/landing it serves no purpose, and comes across as pointless. Lacking the vigour of the first film, it comes to Earth smashing soulless, meaningless, distant CGI cities and people.
Production (Directing, Editing, Music) 1-5 The film is downright boring. It wants to be a fun action/science fiction romp about humans overcoming great odds. Instead, they give us a lackluster, idiotic, and senseless film. It has gone the way of the new film genre, the-quick-edit-computer-animated-mess. Just cut every 2-3 seconds, and the people will not realize they are watching stupid shit. The Transformers films are the epitome of this genre. The musical score only serves to stroke your nostalgia, and doesn’t blaze a new path for itself.
I am not convinced that Roland Emmerich knows how to direct anymore, maybe he never did. I did enjoy his early films, so I have given him the benefit of the doubt even after 2012, and White House Down. Maybe I was just young enough to not see the flaws. How much of my positive thoughts about those films( Independence Day, Stargate, Godzilla) is nostalgia overriding sense?
Characters (Likability, Acting)2-5 Pretty horrible, really. Liam Hemsworth has been shoehorned into Will Smith’s character’s spot in his absence, but he can’t hold a torch to Will “Welcome to Earth!” Smith! They just gloss over the fact that he is not in the film, because of some accident. I was really disappointed that Smith did not return for the sequel, as I heard he had already promised to do Suicide Squad. Maybe Smith read this script and said “no,” because I don’t know if his presence would have saved this movie. Jeff Goldblum’s character, David Levinson, is a very small part of the film. He really serves no purpose to the plot, as his character doesn’t save humanity as he did before. Bill Pullman plays President Whitmore, who has a moment of greatness speaking to Goldblum and random soldiers who need inspiration again, but his character has become a crazy person, scarred by his interactions with the aliens. So he’s not the enjoyable character we know and love; neither of them are. From the three I mentioned before, one is dead, one is crazy, and one absent and pointless. Thanks filmmakers.
Writing (Dialogue, Cleverness) 1-5 The script is just silly. The dialogue feels forced and overly serious. It just hits the wrong beats: serious when it should be fun, joking when it should be serious. The character pool is just too thin, leaving only surface-level depth to characters. No time is taken for us to get invested or learn about characters we should care about. These characters are shoved down our throats and we are expected to enjoy it. The plot has a nice base, but doesn’t take us anywhere. All the characters and aliens just feel insipid. I found myself questioning the decisions being made by both sides. It’s just a bunch of idiots hurling explosions at each other.
Emotions (Was it; Fun, Scary, Sad, Do I care) 1-5 I wanted to love this movie. The first film was part of my formative years of film appreciation. I look back and think of it fondly and am now afraid to rewatch it for fear of it not holding up. Independence Day Resurgence is boring. I didn’t care about any of the characters, kill them all. I didn’t care about Earth, why should I? The movie doesn’t make you feel the weight of what happened. I have seen this in past disaster films, like San Andreas. These films just gloss over the fact that millions of people are dead, and probably millions injured. The world economy is probably fucked, and it will take them years to recover. “ NO, LET’S JUST BLOW SOME SHIT UP!” is the mindset of the film. I have to give a shit about the things you are blowing up! Make me care about some people in your film, then I’ll give a shit when you kill them.
Overall score 7-25 Disappointment and betrayal are what I feel towards this movie. Yeah, they got my money. So many people saw this movie because they enjoyed the first film so much. But all they have done is betrayed what we enjoyed about the original. We live in a time of CGI wonders, but when I can see they are standing on a stage with a green screen, you should have filmed it in an actual desert (a scene in the climax). Maybe your film’s acting would be better and more realistic, if your actors were actually acting against something, instead of standing in a green void. I leave you with a list of questions I had throughout watching the film. Some of these have spoilers in them so don’t read ahead if you care about that stuff.
Why does the Queen leave her big ass ship and go herself to hunt down the orb thingy?
Why doesn’t the Queen just chill in her big mothership and drill the core out of the Earth? (the humans have shown they can’t defeat the big ship, and all she needs to do is wait)
Why do the aliens need the Earth’s core? They have advanced technology and they want molten metal? You know once you take the core away from the heat and the mass of gravity pressing down on it, that is just becomes rock and metal, It’s like the core has its own power to it? It’s hot because of pressure dumbasses, not some magic source of energy
Why does the orb come to Earth and say nothing? It has gone to countless worlds where aliens have attacked and it’s got to imagine humans will be on the defensive. Instead it sits and does nothing, getting shot out of the sky, maybe send a message ahead, you fools.
In the climactic fight with the queen, the fighters swarm around her as she bashes the orb out of the base, and two alien ships commandeered by humans are the only ones that break free and are able to shoot her. Why don’t the thousands of ships flying around her shoot them down? Two ships versus a thousand.
Why do humans have all the weapons of the aliens except for the shields? They still prove a problem and not having the shields makes the humans outmatched.
Why don’t the aliens use their ultimate city destroying weapons once? They shoot lasers at the humans, but we never see the city destroying lasers of the first film, just low powered versions used by the humans.
How come Bill Pullman wastes an hour shaving his beard, when the battle is about to happen? Oh yeah, dramatic effect.
How come humans don’t just hack their computers again? Not even a mention of doing this.
What is the point of half the characters in the film? Most of the 10 characters serve no purpose to the plot and just muddy the waters.
Why does this movie have the terrible trope of “once you kill the queen all the others give up” ? This is so dumb. If you kill my leader, I will still fight you and I will find a new leader, this should stop being written into films.
Why is Jeff Goldblum’s character’s wife/ex-wife not in the film? Not even brought up
Why didn’t they cast the actress that played the president’s daughter in the first film? She is the right age to play the character, and would give us another recognizable face.
Maybe she read the script also? Mae Whitman
Once the first ship shows up, (the orb that they shoot down) why is the planet not on high alert? Get all your defenses ready, power everything up, get everyone to battle stations. Instead, they go forward with their speeches and festivities. It’s Independence Day after all.
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