Independence Day: Resurgence

independence-day-resurgence-movie-review

Independence Day: Resurgence Review

They Didn’t Stop To Think If They Should

A Film Review of Independence Day: Resurgence

 

First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe 4th of July.  It is a great time to reflect on this wonderful country of ours despite its flaws with friends, family and barbecue.  Having said that, few films in Hollywood’s history inspire as many chest-pounding, fist-pumping moments of pure ‘Merica on screen than the original ID4 back in 1996.  Us Yanks didn’t put it to the Russians, Communists, Chinese, terrorists or even Nazis, but an entire invading species from outer space.  We welcomed their intergalactic hostility with a fist in their face and a tactical nuke up their mother ship’s … tail pipe.  And of course, there was that speech by President Bill Pullman, er … Whitmore. 

As far as blockbusters go, mega-disaster films aren’t complicated beasts to tame.  The overall plot is straightforward, most characters are trying to survive in some unified effort and very rarely do the protagonists get completely wiped out without some definitive victory of hope to survive, endure, rebuild, etc.  The story is simplified as much as possible to allow more screen time to be filled with immense set pieces of incomprehensible destruction.  Director Roland Emmerich has decimated planet Earth so many times that one would presume that returning to the franchise that spring-boarded his career for a sequel would have been an explosive walk in the park.  If there’s one thing that recent Hollywood productions have taught us is that there is no such thing as a sure thing.

Yes, Will Smith is not in this film.  Sure, the public demand for a continuation of this story has more or less fizzled.  Absolutely, the returning cast looks better suited to be signed on for another sequel to Cocoon rather than a sci-fi action film.  Yet, none of these significant handicaps are the true culprits for why Resurgence is doing about half as well as ID4 did at the box office after 11 days even with today’s exorbitant ticket prices.  In a nutshell, the real reason this movie didn’t work is thanks to stereotypical Hollywood obtuseness: “the sequel has gotta be bigger because bigger is better!”  No.  Sometimes “bigger” just means “more” as in more explosions, characters, action and (convenient) twists and when studio executives become obsessed with this train of thought “more” quickly turns into “too much.”  Independence Day: Resurgence is a film determined to fill out its runtime with so much of everything that the main plot is obscured by an ever expanding fog of inconsequential subplots.  This film tries so desperately to be a jack of all trades that it couldn’t be bothered with attempting to master anything.

It’s not so much that Resurgence is a “bad” Hollywood blockbuster, but rather a completely unfocused story that is strung together by a cavalcade of subplots that simply go nowhere and is supported by characters that are ostensibly all sidekicks with no main protagonist to rally behind.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that a ton of really important plot points to the mythos of this saga like Captain Hiller dying, the benefits of applied alien technology to all aspects of human civilization and the achievement of world peace thanks to a universal threat all happens off screen, before this movie even begins and is barely touched upon during its runtime.

Unfortunately, the story of “the aliens are back with bigger ships” is just not as interesting as exploring any one of those previously mentioned plot points and the characters that take us there redefine the concept of flatness.  Character development is an afterthought as precious few scenes are allowed to endear anyone to the audience.  It is as much the fault of poor writing and production planning as it is performance that leads to characters and by extension, circumstances that no one cares about. 

Action Style

Like the original ID4 the majority of the action comes in the form of aerial combat and mass scale digital destruction.  Some laser/plasma gunplay is featured too, but not nearly as visually dynamic.

4/6

Action Frame

Roland Emmerich makes sure the frame is moving, shifting and expanding enough to capture as much scale of destruction and combat as possible.  It is much easier to do all this when most of these sequences are created digitally.

4/5

Lead Performance

Were there any leads in this film?  I guess Liam Hemsworth’s Jake Morrison technically qualifies as some random rival to crack ace Dylan Hiller played by Jessie Usher who apparently was given specific direction to copy every possible nuanced mannerism Will Smith produced in ID4 to more easily identify him as his son.  Neither was particularly inspiring as a leader, a hero or a character.

3/6

Supporting Performance

Too many to list and they were all inconsistent.  Judd Hirsh as Julius Levinson was charming and comedic, but his scenes were awkwardly placed and annoying speed bumps to the action.  Jeff Goldblum was solid, but as a primary architect of this new world, needed to be featured more.  Maika Monroe’s Patricia Whitmore is the President’s aid, a combat pilot and the primary love interest and has zero time to do any of that.  Bill Pullman reprising his role as former President Whitmore had a couple of decent moments that were instantly countered by odd moments.  Every tertiary support character was more painfully unfunny than Jimmy Fallon.

2/5

Music

A decent job done here, but the music is not used as effectively at exposing massive screen reveals as the original.

4/6

Sound F/X

Explosions tend to blur into an avalanche of rumbles and the pew, pew, pews between plasma rifles and aircraft cannons are a bit indistinguishable.  The aliens sounded pretty cool though.

3/5

“Moving” = 20/33

Digital F/X

All spacecraft and future tech on Earth and the moon looks pretty great.  The scale of abandoned alien craft on the planet is intimidating, but not nearly as much as the new inbound threat.  No complaints.  Well done.

6/6

Special F/X

With so much of the visual effect burden being hoisted by digital composites and CG there wasn’t much left to be shown practically with simple pyro and miniature work.  Still, any scene featuring human/alien combat face to face required some kind of wire work.

3/5

Costumes

Not particularly inspired designs for any clothing, but especially flight suits of the future which is interesting seeing how drastically alien technology improved society; the clothing with which we interacted with it seemingly didn’t have to?  Seriously, not even some kind of power armor for foot soldiers?

3/6

Hair & Makeup

The Robert Loggia cameo looked like a silicone Kardashian job gone horribly, horribly sour.  Whitmore’s scraggly beard looked better on him than shaved off.  Were they trying to make Jeff Goldblum’s character look older than his father? 

2/5

Exteriors

The digital moonscape looked great.  Africa looked like it was clearly thrown together on a soundstage.  Future D.C. looked decent and the dessert around Area 51 is as desolate as before.

3/6

Interiors

A vast improvement in the set design is reflected in every interior scene during this film production.  Excellent diversity is displayed within regular spaces to military bases to space platforms.

5/5

“Picture” = 22/33

Hook

The aliens are pissed and they’re coming back to finish the job.  Really?  And it’s somehow more difficult having exponentially increased our planetary defenses over the past 20 years?  So we’re basically playing the same gags one more time?

1/4

Conflict

There wasn’t enough internal conflict to parallel the obvious external threat of the aliens to make it as interesting as the first film.  Giving the audience more scenes from the aliens’ perspective would have amplified the effectiveness of this sole source of conflict.

2/4

Resolution

Apparently there is a larger struggle in the galaxy thanks to a subplot that’s shoehorned in paying no immediate dividends in this film, but clearly meant to setup another sequel providing Resurgence makes enough money globally.  The battle may be won, but the war goes on.

2/4

Dialogue

Does a good job in getting the audience up to speed as to what’s going on in this newly advanced world, but does a poor job building camaraderie amongst its characters nullifying any sympathy we have for them or the challenges they face.

2/6

Exposition

This film presumes an audience that has seen the original.  Understanding what’s happening now is dependent on understanding what happened then which, by the way, does not get revisited in any meaningful way.  What the hell happened to Will Smith’s character again?  This is not the main character you are looking for.

2/5

Character Uniqueness

First we have the cocky smart ass vs. by the book golden boy.  Then we have the underappreciated scientist.  Finally we have the sacrificial icon.  As far as blockbusters go, these are as unique as mud. 

1/6

Character Relatability

Again, due to a complete disregard for character development, there are few moments of relatability with the audience save for the tried and true families of combat veterans angle desperate for their safe return.

2/5

“Story” = 12/34

Overall MPS Rating: 54/100

Independence Day: Resurgenceis one of those film productions that beg the question “why” on so many levels all of which can only be answered by cost effective dollars and cents.  Form the business perspective of the entertainment industry, this film makes sense in every textbook example of “the formula” at work.  From the enjoyment perspective of an audience, this film delivers “been there, done that” moment, after moment, after moment.   Simply adding Will Smith (and the rumored $50 million dollar pay day he was supposedly demanding) to this movie exactly as it stood would not have flipped the switch for this film.  However, if he were always part of the production from the very beginning, the story would have been vastly different with a “dollars and cents” focus on his character arc with everyone else towing the line in support.  Then at least, the audience would have had an unquestioned hero to get behind.

idr-resurgence-clips

Watch: Independence Day: Resurgence Clips

Independence Day: Resurgence gets released this Friday.

Check out a pair of clips including “Bigger Than The Last One,” and a promo with Brent Spiner’s Dr. Okun.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Roland Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

roland-emmerich-slams-marvel

Independence Day’s Roland Emmerich Slams Marvel Movies & Superman

Roland Emmerich, known for directing the Independence Day movies, White House Down and The Patriot, isn’t a big fan of superhero movies.

Actually, it doesn’t sounds as if Emmerich is a fan of them at all and specifically mentions Marvel.

“When you look at my movies it’s always the regular Joe Schmo that’s the unlikely hero. A lot of Marvel movies, they show people in funny suits running around,” Emmerich said, reports the UK’s Mirror.

Emmerich continues with what sounds like a dig on Superman as well.

I don’t like people in capes. I find it silly when someone dons a superhero suit and flies. I don’t understand it. I grew up in Germany, that’s probably why,” Emmerich said.

Roland Emmerich’s next movie, Independence Day: Resurgence, gets this released this Friday. It’s probably safe to assume a regular Joe Schmo saves the day in the film.

ruins-las-vegas-idr

Independence Day: Resurgence: Visit the Ruins of Las Vegas Promo

Redisover Las Vegas — reborn from its ruins.

A new promo for Independence Day: Resurgence offer a look at Las Vegas twenty years following the attack from the first movie. Check it out below.

On July 4th, 1996, aliens attacked our planet, destroying our cities. The Las Vegas Ruins Tourism Board welcomes you to come to Vegas and experience a vacation like no other. Presented by Independence Day: Resurgence. In theaters June 24th. 

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Roland Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. 

rolland-emerich-idr-sequel

Roland Emmerich Wants Independence Day: Resurgence Sequel; Watch B-Roll Footage

Watch behind-the-scenes footage below from Independence Day: Resurgence.

Director Roland Emmerich also revealed he is hopeful for a sequel as he set up IDR to lead into another movie (via Slash Film):

I’d never planned to make a sequel – I always felt that Independence Day was a standalone film. But over the years I realized how iconic the film had become for people and I was repeatedly asked by [20th Century] Fox to do it. What really did it was just how amazing film technology is these days and how restricted I felt in ’95/’96 when I did the original one. But it’s not a traditional sequel.

If [Independence Day: Resurgence is] successful enough, yes, because it’s set up for a sequel. In 20 years? No, I wouldn’t want to make it with a Zimmer frame!

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Roland Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. 

idr-clip-spots

New Independence Day: Resurgence Clip & Spots

Watch a new clip and spots below for Independence Day: Resurgence.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Roland Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. 

idr-clips

Watch: Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Clips

Watch clips below for Independence Day: Resurgence.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Roland Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. 

idr-alien-queen-spots

Watch New Independence Day: Resurgence Spots

Watch two new Independence Day: Resurgence spots below.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Roland Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. 

idr-extended-trailer

Watch: Independence Day: Resurgence Extended Trailer

Watch a new extended trailer below for Independence Day: Resurgence.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Roland Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction. 

idr-promos

Watch: New Independence Day: Resurgence Promos

Watch three new promos below for Independence Day: Resurgence.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Rolan Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

indendence-day-resurgence-united-we-survive

Watch: Independence Day: Resurgence “United We Survive” Clip

Watch a new clip below for Independence Day: Resurgence with “United We Survive.” 

A new viral site has also been launched with Join the ESD.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Rolan Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

United we stand, united we survive. Visit JoinESD.com now to learn how you can help GOARMY.COM defend our planet.

Posted by Independence Day on Monday, May 9, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence Alien Technology Promo

Watch: Independence Day: Resurgence “Alien Tech” Clip

Watch a new promo below for Independence Day: Resurgence with “Alien Technology,” which features some new footage.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Rolan Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

independence-day-resurgence-war-1996-viral-video

New Independence Day: Resurgence War of 1996 Viral Video

Watch a new video below for the Independence Day: Resurgence War of 1996 viral campaign.

Visit warof1996.com for more.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Rolan Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

jeff-goldblum-idr-earth-day

Watch: Independence Day: Resurgence Earth Day Video With Jeff Goldblum

In addition to the new Independence Day: Resurgence trailer, check out Jeff Goldblum as Earth Space Defence Director David Levinson offering a special message for Earth Day.

Independence Day: Resurgence has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Rolan Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

idr-trailer

Watch A New Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer

Watch a new trailer above for Independence Day: Resurgence.

Independence Day: Resurgence has a June 24, 2016 release directed by Rolan Emmerich starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Angelababy, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, and Jessie Usher.

Synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

cinemacon-deadpool-2

CinemaCon: Fox Announces Deadpool 2, Avatar Sequels, X-Men, IDR & Assassin’s Creed Trailers

Coming out of CinemanCon, Fox Studios’ presentation saw a slew of announcements regarding Deadpool, Avatar and more. New footage from X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence and Assassin’s Creed was also shown off.

Details include:

Deadpool 2 is officially green lit, with Ryan Reynolds and the original creative team returning (director Tim Miller and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick). No release date has been announced just yet.

X-Men: Apocalypse footage confirms Magneto is Quicksilver’s father; shows Mystique as having a leader role; the movie takes place ten years after X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and the trailer shows the younger X-Men being in awe of Mystique.

Wolverine 3 didn’t get much attention other than an “Untitled Wolverine” title card shown on screen.

Gambit did not get mentioned at all.

Independence Day: Resurgence saw a new extended trailer released.

Assassin’s Creed trailer debuted.

Death Cure is still coming out in 2017.

Avatar will have four more sequels kicking off in 2018 (Avatar 2 is due Christmas 2018, Avatar 3 is due Christmas 2020, Avatar 4 is due Christmas 2022, Avatar 5 is due Christmas 2023). The official Avatar Facebook also posted an updated logo: