Rated: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and destruction, and for some language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: June 24, 2016 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox
A follow-up to his 1996 sci-fi fantasy smash is a tiresome, dangling blockbuster for ginormous destruction maestro Roland Emmerich (2012, The Day After Tomorrow) without Will Smith who would later make a dubious career choice of Wild, Wild West over The Matrix. But, the once summer box-office king at least didn't abandon the Men In Black franchise !
Smith's noble, now fallen ace pilot Steven Hiller isn't in Independence Day: Resurgence which combines plenty of exposition to sate the millennial demographic as well as visual effects artistry to put another big, really big hurt on the alternate universe known as Earth. His son Dylan (Jesse T. Usher) is part of the new generation to face off against a new global attack from extra-terrestrials who aren't the same advanced species that reduced the White House (now rebuilt) to matchsticks according sardonic satellite engineer David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum, who still enjoys doing this sort of fare after stints like Law & Order).
The director (part of a quintet of writers) who specializes in this type of large-scale mayhem with an ocean of a ship for its sucking invaders to inflict catastrophe on London from a continent very far away will put the array of characters in a precarious state to accomplish a daunting goal from new existing technology and acumen learned on the fly.
As much as Resurgence may be for the eyes it doesn't nearly have the heart or soul of what came before; even at the surface of certain presumptive fantastic set-pieces lies an anachronistic stolidity. One which hovers over the entire enterprise which can't even be offset by a glib, guileful Goldblum whose Levinson elicits more reaction than his (human) counterparts combined.
Returnees include Bill Pullman's former chief executive, now alien telepathic in a post-traumatic stress way, as well as Judd Hirsch as David's eccentric dad who ends being a school bus driver for kids. The new POTUS is a steely, if Sela Ward in Hollywood's leanings toward the current political climate, and China is prevalent from some of the dialogue and new character's including Angelababy's fighter pilot Rain with a commander father aboard a moonbase. Miley Cyrus's off-screen beau Liam Hemsworth is the renegade rival hooking up with Dylan, Jake Morrison, who enjoys hanging out with Pullman's attractive daughter Patricia (Maika Monroe of It Follows). Even Goldblum gets the obligatory European love interest in an alien psychiatrist (Anglo-French actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg of 21 Grams and Melancholia in perhaps some misguided casting by John Papsidera).
Emmerich and his hard-working technicians conspire for a denouement that longs for galactic spirit and mega cash on the minds of studio honchos. Though this Independence Day has waited for the effects to meet its loaded subject matter it hardly goes out with the same witty, winning patriotic charisma glowing in fluorescent firepower that its behemoth presence unspectacularly wields.
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