Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Independence Day Resurgence review

I realize the first Independence Day movie is something very special to most Americans. Especially those who saw it back then. Personally, it doesn’t appeal to me that much, but I get why it appeals to others. It’s characters, action sequences and a good measure of patriotism and heart made it an easily likable and enjoyable film.

Living as we do, in the age of sequels, reboots and rehashes, it comes as no surprise that the sequel to Independence Day is coming out now, 20 years later. And yes, it is just as unnecessary as you thought.

I’m going to dispense with describing the basic plot and leave that to the movie’s tagline. Which basically tells you all you need to know.

“We had 20 years to prepare…so did they.”

id-r review

The thing about Independence Day: Resurgence is that it does the same thing that other recently rebooted sequels, Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens did. Which is essentially rehash the story of your iconic predecessor and dial everything up to an eleven, just like all sequels are supposed to. But what puts Resurgence apart from those two is that there isn’t really anything even remotely good here.

Apparently Emmerich thinks that if he just makes everything bigger, its going to make the movie better. What he does not know is that empty CGI spectacle does not substitute for exuberance and ambition. And that’s really all this movie is, an empty CGI spectacle, full of the trademark Emmerich destruction porn, in which there are no stakes and you couldn’t care for any of the characters or the landmarks. There’s actually a scene in which aliens drop Hong Kong over London, but not nearly as cool as it could have been.


The script, credited to five writers, including Emmerich and Dean Devlin is abysmal. Full of lazy storytelling, even lazier exposition, convoluted plotting, bad dialogue and absolutely no heart.  The movie also has a really poor sense of pacing and despite clocking at a pretty standard 122 minutes, it feels far longer.

Will Smith clearly had the good sense to stay away from this, or asked them for so much money that they decided to just move on without him. And his replacements don’t do this movie much of a favor. You have the charisma vacuum Jessie Usher who plays his son (surprise, surprise, he’s also a pilot) and gives probably the worst performance of the movie. It’s amazing how less of a screen-presence he is. Maika Monroe who was kinda good in It Follows is actually really bad here as well and neither her two facial expressions nor her poor delivery help the performance. While Sela Ward is a contender for the worst U.S President in a movie.


If there’s any reason to watch this, and well, if you absolutely must. See it for Jeff Goldblum because he’s easily the best thing about this movie even though he’s not nearly in it as much as he should have. But altogether, it’s a mess. It’s nothing more than another run-of-the-mill cash-grabbing rehash. Poorly acted, poorly written and not exciting or enjoyable…at all.





13 responses to “Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

    • The original one is okay at best, definitely too American. But this one, isn’t even enjoyable on that ‘dumb fun’ level a lot of Emmerich’s films are enjoyable on.


  1. I got a little more enjoyment out of the pure stupidity of this movie but I can’t argue with anything you’ve said. It kinda feels like Emmerich thinks the original is held in as high regards as Star Wars and Jurassic Park. He just seems really out of touch with this movie. Feels weak even for a bad Emmerich movie.


      • Yeah it’s definitely not on the level of Godzilla! Funny, I noticed today that I don’t own the 2014 Godzilla but I do have Emmerich’s and I didn’t know how how embarrassed I should feel lol


      • Hahah nothing to be embarrassed about. I really like 2014 Godzilla too. Though the lack of Bryan Cranston and abundance of Aaron Taylor Johnson is one of the movie’s few shortcomings

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice review man. This was one of the most brainless movies I’ve seen. The original Independence Day was certainly far from being a good movie and is incredibly tasteless in a post-9/11 world but at least it was entertaining. But this picture looks completely phoned in: the direction is uninspired, the script has zero direction, and most of the actors look like their waiting for their paychecks to deposit.


    • Thanks man. Couldn’t agree more. They were all out there for the paychecks. I was a little surprised Will Smith wasn’t here considering you can usually get him with a nice paycheck, but I’m guessing he was was probably just asking for way too much given that he’s Will Smith.


  3. Good read! How could they get this so wrong? I guess there was good reason for Emmerich to steer clear of sequels in the past. I thought he’d be a good franchise director. Appears not.


    • Thanks for reading!
      I don’t know what Emmerich was trying to accomplish here, and he hasn’t made even a remotely fun movie in quite some time. I cared little for his films but by the looks of it, I don’t think I’ll be watching his films for the ‘dumb fun’ element anymore


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