‘That’s… definitely bigger than the last one…’
A film can be artistically worthwhile or it can be fun. The best movies are both, but one or the other is generally fine. Even if a film is neither entertaining or artistically fulfilling, I can forgive those twin omissions if the movie has drowned under the weight of its own ambition. If a filmmaker has thrown everything into a project and it hasn’t worked, I wouldn’t be too harsh about that. The very worst films are those that have none of the above. No heart, no soul, no fun. Not even so-bad-its-good status (a concept I struggle with in general anyway). Independence Day: Resurgence is one of the those films. It’s a joke that takes itself too seriously. A shrug torturously stretched out over two mind numbing hours. This is basically the coronavirus in the form of a movie except it isn’t even infectious. Total, mindless drivel.
Normally my second paragraph is reserved for the plot. Aliens are back. Will Smith isn’t. That’s pretty much all you need.
Roland Emmerich is the master of destroying the world. He did it in the original Independence Day. He did it in The Day After Tomorrow. He did it best in the underrated John Cusack vehicle 2012. This belated sequel is proof that he needs to stop doing it now. Special effects have caught up with Emmerich in as much as none of this is novel or exciting any more. None of it is gasp inducing (apart from gasps of horror at how bad the script is). Nothing here makes sense. Actors come and go. Liam Hemsworth is a beautiful but incredibly dull man. Heck, even Jeff Goldblum is shorn of his usual twinkle. His lustre dimmed by the shadow of a terrible plot and non existent character development. As with music, it’s a general rule that the more writers something has, the worse it will be. Independence Day: Resurgence has five credited writers. Each one more ashamed than the last, hopefully.
The only saving grace in this movie, and I mean the only thing that isn’t tarnished by this whole experience, is Bill Pullman. Because even in the face of adversity, Bill Pullman stands strong like an ancient, dignified rock in a field of rotting grass and pungent animal carcasses.
If you haven’t seen Independence Day: Resurgence, please don’t watch it. I’ve suffered so you don’t have to. Almost like a modern day Jesus Christ, if you will. No? Fair enough.