Independence Day Resurgence Movie Review
Merriam-Webster defines “resurgence” as “a rising again into life, activity or prominence,” which makes you wonder what the hell 20th Century Fox was thinking by naming its 20-year-late sequel Independence Day Resurgence. The movie has plenty of activity and chatter, but very little life or prominence.
Jeff Golblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Judd Hirsch and a few others are back, but gone is the film’s headliner Will Smith, replaced by younger and less charismatic actors Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe and Jessie T. Usher. If done right, the movie didn’t absolutely need Smith’s involvement, but given what it is, Independence Day Resurgence surely misses it—the actor’s energy, charm and fun factor.
So what is Independence Day Resurgence? It’s a big-budget but utterly generic retread of the original that lacks the excitement, likable characters and jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring destruction that allows ID4 to stand the tests of time. Roland Emmerich, king of disaster flicks, amps up the destruction for the sequel, but after decades of end-of-the-world films and years of similar gravity-sucking technology (seriously, Hollywood, let’s move on), there just isn’t anything here to differentiate Resurgence from a dozen others. The movie offers plenty of action, but many of the biggest scenes look like poor carbon copies of those from the original. The characters are largely uninteresting and undeveloped, in part because there are too many of them.
Some of Emmerich’s world building is interesting and hints at a good concept buried somewhere deep within, but the end result (where in just 20 years the Earth has somehow fully integrated alien technology into their own to develop spacecraft, weapons and more) is a cheesy, surface-level take that fails to explore truly interesting questions such as what would a world look like 20 years after a massive alien invasion?
As a mindless action movie, Independence Day Resurgence isn’t without its moments, and less discerning fans (i.e. not uptight critics like me who watch way too many movies) will find some things to enjoy. But Independence Day Resurgence isn’t a very interesting or entertaining movie—all it really makes you do iss turn it off so you can put in the original.
Independence Day: Resurgence is available now on Digital HD and on 4K Ultra HD Disc, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on October 18 courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.