Independence Day: Resurgence
Independence Day: Resurgence is a 2016 American science fiction action disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt. It serves as the sequel to Independence Day.
The film premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on June 20, 2016 and was released in the United States on June 24, 2016.
As Independence Day nears, satellite engineer David Levinson investigates a 3,000-mile-wide mother ship that is approaching Earth. Fortunately, twenty years earlier, nations across the world started to use recovered extraterrestrial technology to develop an immense defense program. When the alien invaders attack with unprecedented force, the U.S. president, teams of scientists, and brave fighter pilots spring into action to save the planet from a seemingly invincible enemy.
- It is completely unnecessary, mainly since the previous film already had a perfect ending which did not warrant a continuation, let alone a sequel, since both of the main characters destroyed the mothership thus defeating the aliens and ending Independence Day on a very high note; in addition, Resurgence came out twenty years after the first film, so the idea for a sequel was basically stale by the time it was released.
- It suffers from a poorly-structured story which lacks a sense of focus; regarding the lack of a sense of focus, this is mainly due to the film constantly shifting between sub-plots and characters which feel rather useless and seeming to refuse to focus on any of them properly to the point where it is difficult to sympathize with them; any time the film switches to something else, it feels as if it is interrupting the story the viewer is on at that point.
- Much of the sub-plots drag out in a way the pacing is rendered extremely sluggish; time could have been spent on expanding upon the characters, instead of shoehorning in these long and boring sub-plots.
- Resurgence is also pretty much a rehash of the previous film, except only the setting and the aliens' goal are the major things that are different.
- Much of the dialogue in the film is just empty exposition that is either one-note or uninspired, to the point where it feels as if the film isn't telling a story at those respective points.
- The visuals themselves look lifeless, as most of the film is shot in dull and gloomy environments, and several scenes suffer from a usage of disgustingly blue color filters.
- The special effects lack any interesting designs or forms, and many of them suffer from rather slow movement as if they lack any energy to their modelling.
- Stale acting from the characters, with many of them looking bored as if they had limited or restricted emotional reactions, even going as far as not feeling at times when they are supposed to feel; the worst example of this is the facial expression of Dylan Hiller the first time he is shown after his mother's death, which consists of him doing this wide-eyed blank stare.
- Unimpressive action scenes, with none of them standing out in comparison to in the original and all of them being your typical battles with lasers and ships flying around.
- The scenes where cities are being destroyed by tidal waves and the gravity field of the mothership lack the same impact as the saucers destroying their targeted cities in the previous film.
- Sequel baiting: The sphere convinces the humans to join her resistance so they can launch a counter attack on the Harvesters' home planet; this was never resolved, as the film was a box office disappointment and writer Dean Devlin basically doubts that there is ever going to be a sequel to Resurgence.
- Several characters from the previous film either only return just to be killed off or are never mentioned again as if they did not seem to even exist anymore; for example, Steve Hiller was killed off-screen before the events of this film and he only appears in a portrait on the wall in the White House, though it is justified since actor Will Smith declined to return for this film.
- The film lacks the approachable nature of the original and instead focuses more on the science fiction trappings.
- The characters are portrayed as idiots in certain scenes, with:
- The government shooting down a good alien who arrived to warn the human race, despite David Levinson's objections against shooting said alien.
- The Harvester Queen failing to realize that destroying the entire planet she is targeting would also destroy her target; she also randomly decides to... start chasing a school bus around the desert on foot.
- It brings back Dr. Brackish Okun, who was pretty annoying in the previous film (and it was left ambiguous as to whether he survived or not).
- This was one of the final film roles for actor Robert Loggia and his character does not speak in the film; he just gets up and waves in a crowd in one scene.
- Lazy and contrived ending where it turns out the colossal mothership is set up so that if the alien Queen dies... it simply leaves; literally everything the Queen did after her ship arrived was pointless and did nothing but give the humans chances to beat her.
- Some great and hilarious attempts at comedy.
- It knows not to take itself seriously.
- Some of the world-building is creative.
- Adding another alien species (Sphere) brings some kind of originality.
- The African militia is an interesting and nice addition to the film.
- All of the human characters are likable.
- Good performances from Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum.
- Decent soundtrack, composed by Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser.
Critical and audience reception
Independence Day: Resurgence received negative reviews from critics, audiences, and fans of the first film. The film currently holds a 30% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 4.3 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads " It's undeniably visually impressive, but like its predecessor, Independence Day: Resurgence lacks enough emotional heft to support its end-of-the-world narrative stakes."
Film critic Colin Covert of Minneapolis Star Tribune awarded the film a 1.5 out of 4 stars and described the film as a "dull, brainless sequel, representing how sadly major studio film quality has declined in the intervening two decades." Richard Roeper of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film a 1.5 out of 4 stars and stated in his review "Well that was unnecessary."
Independence Day: Resurgence opened up at #2 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $41,039,944. The film grossed $389.7 million worldwide against its $165 million production budget (note that marketing and distribution cost for a blockbuster movie is usually at least the cost of making the movie itself, and the studio only gets around 50% of the gross domestically and 30% internationally: in other words, the movie only actually made about $137.5 million for the studio at the box office, but conservatively cost about $330 million to make and market) and was considered a box office disappointment by analysts.
Awards and nominations
Independence Day: Resurgence was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, but lost to Hillary's America: The Secret of the Democratic Party.
- When writer Dean Devlin was asked if there was going to be a third Independence Day film, he answered with, "I don’t know. I don't know. Currently, I personally have no plans on doing another one."
- Shortly after the release of Midway, Roland Emmerich stated in an interview during November 2019 that he regretted making Resurgence.