I’m a huge fan of director Roland Emmerich’s first Independence Day film and I was so excited to see Independence Day: Resurgence. The trailers made the film look like it would at least be fun and provide some form of entertainment. I’m always trying to find the good in movies, and if you’ve read any of my reviews, you know I can be easily entertained. But there are some things I just can’t let slip by, and there are some movies that just piss me off because of a filmmaker’s laziness in telling their stories and building their characters. Independence Day: Resurgence is one of those films.
Fans like myself waited over twenty years for a sequel to Independence Day and I felt like we were given an utter piece of crap. No wonder Will Smith didn’t want to have anything to do with the sequel! The guy knew it was going to be shit. I’m surprised some of the other original actors came back to reprise their roles. With Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, and Brent Spiner all reprising their roles, I thought it would be fun to see their characters back in action. But nope, Emmerich ruined the characters that he created. I felt nothing for them — it’s like they were all empty shells of their former selves. I thought for sure Goldblum would at least be the saving grace of this movie, but he was boring. How in the hell do you make Jeff Goldblum boring!? Emmerich found a way. I know Mae Whitman was a little heartbroken that she wasn’t asked to come back to reprise her role as the President’s daughter Patricia Whitmore, but I think she dodged a bullet and she’s better off not having been in this crapfest.
Then there were the new characters like Liam Hemsworth’s Jake Morrison and Jessie T. Usher’s Dylan Hiller. They were supposed to help lead this movie but I couldn't care less about these characters, which is a problem because you’re supposed to care about them! You’re supposed to care when one of their loved ones dies, but I didn’t. There’s was absolutely no emotional investment in ANY of the characters! There was also no color to their personalities — they were boring monotone characters the whole time!
Will Smith was so damn entertaining in the first movie; he was an incredibly likable and fun character and that film took time to let the audience build a relationship with him. This sequel attempted that but the way it was done and the way the characters were portrayed by the actors was so poor that it just didn’t work. Smith is also a solid actor that has the powerful onscreen presence and talent to actually lead the film. These actors just don't have that "wow" factor. They can't carry a movie.
I know some of you will be like, “I don’t go to see these kinds of movies for the acting.” And I get that, this is a big budget film full of awesome special effects! There were aspects of the film that were cool to look at, I’ll give it that. It definitely delivered some spectacular eye-candy. But for me the eye-candy can only go so far, for me the main meat of whether or not I enjoy a film comes down to story and character because that’s the backbone of a strong movie. The special effects shouldn’t have to drive the movie, the story and characters should.
When it comes to the story and script, I think the story could have been good if the script wasn’t so terribly written and the characters weren’t so poorly developed. There were parts in the film that didn’t make any sense. At one point when during one of the strategizing planning scenes in the movie, someone in the theater yelled out, “What!? That makes no sense!” That was the only time during the movie where anyone in the packed movie theater laughed. Any other kind of humor attempted in the film fell flat with the audience.
Again, I was excited for this movie! I walked in thinking it was going to be an awesome sequel to a favorite film of mine. That obviously didn’t happen, and you can’t accuse me of going into it with a bad attitude because I was 100% pumped up for it! I wanted it to be good, and I expected it to be good. But ultimately I was completely let down and it was an utter disappointment.
I’m sure some of you liked it. I’ve talked to a few people that have, and again, I get that some people go to these kinds of movies purely for the spectacle. But why can’t we have the spectacle as well as a great story, great characters, and a great script? There's nothing wrong with having it all, and I feel cheated when we don't get that.
The first film was fantastic! There was no reason the sequel shouldn’t have been as well, unless it was just lazy writing or rushed, and that’s what I’m going to chalk it up to. This sequel could have been so much better on every level had the script been decent, there'd been better casting, and stronger character development. Independence Day: Resurgence was a waste of an opportunity to do something amazing.
What did you all think of the movie?