Independence Day: Resurgence

independence-day-resurgenceIndependence Day: Resurgence (2016), Rated “PG-13”
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Reviewed by David L. Felts
Rating: halfstar

Have you seen this movie?
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I didn’t prep for this by re-watching the 1996 Independence Day, but I remember liking the movie, even though I thought the resolution was pretty dumb and impossible. It was campy, but entertaining, and certainly not memorable or one I would watch more than once unless I stumbled across it late at night on TV.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued when I saw the trailers for Independence Day: Resurgence. I thought the idea of the aliens coming back was pretty good and would make for a good story. But like they say in business: it’s not about the idea, it’s about the execution.

And as far as execution, Independence Day: Resurgence falls flat on its face. Thank goodness I didn’t waste money going to see it in the theater. I meant to, but never got around to it. Bullet dodged and money saved.

For those of you not bowled over by the media blitz and blissfully unaware, the aliens Earth defeated are back. Twenty years have passed, and this alternate 2016 Earth is a different and happier place. The first attack unified the globe as humanity put aside its differences to battle the alien invaders. Wars have gone by the wayside. Humanity has finally realized they are in it together, and that there are bigger and badder things besides each other that we need to be united against. Good for humanity.

We’ve also managed to harness some of the advanced alien technology, reverse engineered from the alien ships we defeated. We’ve gained control over gravity and are able to build some pretty awesome weapons and a base on the moon. Again, pretty cool.

And then the aliens show up and all that technology turns out to be pretty worthless when it actually comes to facing off against the creatures who created it.  Earth’s defenses are rapidly and effortlessly neutralized, and once again the human race is forced to rely on its wits (apparently the only thing we have that’s more advanced than that of any alien civilization) to defeat the invincible alien horde.

Like I said, a good idea. Now let’s talk about execution….

Cut-out, paper-thin characters from central casting — the hard as nails military commander, the decisive female president, the rule-bucking lower ranking military guy, comic relief guy with thick black-framed glasses, glowering warrior guy, wacky scientist, father-daughter team… they’re all there, performing their roles to perfection, complete with cringe-worthy dialog. Which means nary a surprise in behavior or action or word is to be found.

And now I’ll digress into some specific and potentially spoiler details:

Unless military standards have changed, you’re required to cut your hair and shave. And if you’re a lieutenant, why are there sergeant’s strips on your sleeve?

All this advanced alien technology and gravity drives…. so what’s with the old fossil fuel cars and specifically the diesel school bus? So dumb….

A space ship about a quarter the size of the Earth? Better do some research on what would happen when that baby sets down. They make some effort to show the effect of such a gigantic object would have, but — and I’m no scientist — it didn’t seem well thought out.

The idiocy of the preemptive strike… you’ll know what I’m talking about if you watch it.

But you said the ship was 3,000 miles across? Why are they able to fly from the edge to the center in mere moments?

And to top it off, we have a set-up for a whole Independence Day universe, where races of aliens are battling as rebels against the Big Baddies, and guess who was just chosen to lead the resistance? Sequels here we come!

Idiotic is a good word for this film.

In the end, it was boring, which is about the worst sin a film can commit.

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