Independence Day: Resurgence – 2/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

independence day 2Independence Day: Resurgence – 2/5 –  This has been the year of nostalgia within film.  A lot of the big blockbusters this year have been (in a sense) a return to properties from years ago.  No matter if it’s a retelling or a sequel, the year of nostalgia has given the movie audience a somewhat up and down feeling.  This is another one that plays to that nostalgia cord that hopefully would bring a property back to the forefront.  With this sequel, it takes place exactly 20 years after the first.  What we have here is a film that barely scratches the surface of fun.  Independence Day: Resurgence tries too hard to be more than it is and never reaches that nostalgic accord.  For all that could have been, it is just another throw away blockbuster.

Premise:  20 Years after the first film; The Aliens return for more destruction.  With more at stake, will the humans unite once again to be able to save the world one more time?

For a full list, please refer to the IMDb page.  Overall, the acting is what you would expect from a film of this caliber.  No matter if it is returning cast members (Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman) or new ones (Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner), you get very basic acting.  All the characters are very cliché and one dimensional on the screen; becoming the common archetypes from any Sci-Fi film.  There is no worth found in their interactions with each other.  It becomes an overtly use of languishing caricatures of a person.  There is no necessity to have deep characterization within a blockbuster film, but at the same time you still have to provide something decent on the screen that feels relevant.  What you have is a collection of individuals that look like they are just reading lines off paper to provide an ‘object of reference’ for a formulaic purpose.  The rest of the cast aren’t even worth noting.  They fall into the predictable ‘gimmicky’ trap that blockbusters sometimes use to distract from the terrible acting.

This film is the very definition of lack of direction.  No matter if you are trying to describe the acts, themes or (lack thereof) plot, it is a complete mess.  I’ll stand at the forefront that this isn’t a film that needs to be dramatic, heartfelt or even an adrenaline rush to be entertaining.  What it tries to do is play the nostalgia card.  This should have been enough to keep you entertained.  What you come to find out is that it tries too hard to rely on past references that it drowns out any aspect of direction or storytelling.  What you get in the three acts is as followed:

First act- Introduction to all the characters (new and old).  This is followed by rehashing elements of the first film while (forced narrative) showing what and why the aliens return.

Second act – A bubbling effect of plot progression: Character one-liners, action set-pieces and generic Sci-Fi elements.  Forced narrative continues without any resembling plot.  What you get is typical Sci-fi plot devices used at specific points to move characters from one scenario to another.

Third act – A culmination of the ‘Save the World’ formula within the Humans vs. Aliens dynamic.  This leads into an open-ended epilogue.

From this you can see that there is no real attachment or emotional tension through any of the common aspects of storytelling, character dynamic or theme.  What you have is a dull like feeling when ‘important’ moments are supposed to cause some reaction.  No matter if is a dramatic death, insane destruction or stark relationships developed, you feel nothing.  Once you get out of the first act, the bulk of the film turns into an amalgamation of terrible lines, visual noise and predictable Alien/Sci-FI tropes.  The compounding effect of this repetition is used to hide the fact there is no real story.  It badgers with a sense of the ‘bigger picture’ without explanation.  The audience must ‘fill in the blanks’ to produce something meaningful as to why things are happening.  This cutthroat method makes the film’s epic allure become hollow.  You see that there is a sense to try and create an adventurous spectacle, but there isn’t anything that levels the ‘nostalgia’ with any kind of fun.  Unlike some other films this summer (TMNT 2), it tries too hard to be serious and nostalgic at the same time.  It never becomes self-aware to create something that could have been simple, dumb fun.  Once you reach the climax, it becomes a ‘copy-cat’ of the final act from the first film.  You have that cliché of ‘take out a specific target’ to ‘save the world’.  As a sequel, it is amplified into a combination of over-the-top set pieces, unwanted comical hijinks and forced melodrama.  Once you reach the conclusion, you know that there could have been something fun to be had, but it also good to know that there is room for more to come.

The visuals are an overabundance of CGI.  What you get is overused special effects with aliens, space crafts and the general spectacle.  It becomes obvious this was shot on a green screen.  There is no real purpose to create anything authentic.  Everything just takes you out of the film; becoming dauntingly unrealistic to watch.  The score is your common resounding sounds and noises found in any Sci-Fi films.

Independence Day: Resurgence is that blockbuster that falls flat on so many levels.  For all that could have been, it tries too hard to be more than what it was.  Being nostalgic can only get you so far, and it doesn’t work in this one.  I would recommend this as just a rental.

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