So I watched Independence Day: Resurgence…
2016 hasn’t been a great year for me in terms of regular visits to the cinema – I’ve definitely missed out on watching more movies than any year before. I actually had carved out some time to watch this movie but its theatrical run in my part of the world was literally less than three weeks. Which should have warned me to run and stay far away from it.
Okay, basic plot: Twenty years after the attempted alien invasion of Earth, humanity has come together in unprecedented ways. There is global peace and through incorporation of alien technology, humanity has grown in leaps and bounds. As they prepare to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their victory over the alien threat, several of the humans involved in the war begin experiencing strange visions of a mysterious symbol. The visions are premonitions, warning of the return of the invading alien force. Even though they had twenty years to prepare, humanity is once again nowhere near ready to battle their own extinction.
The biggest mistake the filmmakers made when producing this film was the exclusion of Will Smith. I don’t care how much money he wanted, I don’t care if he wanted 90% of the dialogue, they should have given it to him because this film is desperately missing his presence. This film is a sequel but it comes so long after the original that I think we can classify it as a remake; and, as such, it suffers from the problem that burdens most remakes – a lack of heart. Remakes are so obsessed with improving visual effects and stuffing more and more explosions into the film that they forget to preserve the fundamental elements that made the first movie such fun. I think these ‘fundamental elements’ are always the characters.
Classic movies always had memorable characters – your John McClane’s, Rambo’s, Terminator’s. These characters were beautiful blends of creative writing and entertaining acting. So it didn’t matter how large the explosion was that our hero was running away from, what mattered was the hero. You cared more about the character than the visual effect AND that’s why remakes will always pale in comparison. Filmmakers aren’t interested in creating rich characters anymore, they’re interested in Michael Bay levels of masturbatory explosions. But I’ve become sidetracked, my point was that this film needed Will Smith because it needed the character and heart Smith brought to the original.
The characters in this movie are each as forgettable as the next. You literally forget their names a second after they’re introduced. There are far too many characters in this movie and none of them are genuine, memorable or substantial in any way. They are cookie-cutter characters who are merely there to carry out every stereotype that you’d expect of such a character. Now since you don’t care about the characters, the massive amounts of destruction in the film are rendered moot.
I think Jeff Goldblum is a fun, entertaining actor with a great quirky and idiosyncratic style but he fails to bring any of that to this version of David Levinson. I loved Levinson in the original but in this film, he’s just another throwaway character. I think Liam Hemsworth should take a step back from acting and pursue a career in modelling. His appeal never extends further than his good looks. He’s such a bland actor who feels like he’s simply going through the motions without actually adding anything of value to the scripted character. To be honest, all the acting in this movie is sub-par but these two really stood out because they’re meant to be the major drawcards in terms of star-power.
Now if you’re going to focus the majority of your creative impetus on visual effects then can the visual effects please look half-decent? I cannot believe we still live in a time where big-budget blockbusters still have crappy CGI. What’s the point then? You’re not giving me rich characters, you’re not giving me breathtaking effects; so all you’ve done is managed to create a blackhole that will suck up two hours of my time and the price of a movie ticket.
I think I’ve made my point clear that this film is a travesty and that it should not be watched under any circumstances; but I feel I really need to drive the point home by discussing its ‘story’. The great thing about Independence Day was the simplicity of its story: aliens attack, we fight, we win. Independence Day: Resurgence tries to get a bit too clever without really having the skills to do so. Almost like handing a two-year-old a piece of crayon and asking them to recreate the Mona Lisa. It’s just asking too much. This film had five screenwriters and anytime there are this many cooks in the kitchen, it’s usually a recipe for disaster. It feels like each individual screenwriter had an idea for where this film’s focus should be; but instead of choosing just one idea, they decided to try to make all of them work. This leads to a convoluted, poorly-thought-out, misguided, horrendously-executed piece of garbage.
Overall, Independence Day: Resurgence is another failed reboot that we should throw on the garbage heap and never think of again. The only one thing it does right is offer a new definition for happiness – when this film’s closing credits appear and you realise you no longer have to suffer from this torture. Don’t watch it 2/10