Movie Review: Independence Day- Resurgence

On the day the Brexit result was announced, I watched former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, give an excited but uninspiring reenactment of Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore’s inspiring “This is our independence day!” speech.

This expectedly evoked memories of the 1996 Roland Emmerich-directed summer blockbuster, Independence Day. Barely a week after Farage’s short-lived victory speech, the 20-year in waiting sequel opened at the cinemas.

When it came out in 1996, Independence Day was all the rage as everyone and anyone who had seen it raved about it. Seeing it then, the rave seemed justified. Subsequent viewings years later, revealed it for what it really is; a crappy big-budget movie.

Twenty years after the first alien attack in Independence Day, earth has harnessed alien technology and built a coalition force to repel further alien invasion with an interception force stationed on the moon. As with all disaster movies and despite the advantage afforded by mankind’s use of a vastly superior alien technology, Africa appears to have been a non-beneficiary of the quantum advancement in science and technology. We are still pretty much in the Stone Age where the likes of machete-wielding warlord, Dikembe Umbutu, reign supreme.

As with a Roland Emmerich-directed and produced disaster/alien invasion movie, the big production budget is matched only by the utterly crappy script. Apparently in Resurgence, its entire $165m budget went into building elaborate set pieces and ultra-realistic CGIs while the change left over from ordering pizza during pre-production meetings was used in commissioning a script for the movie.

Incongruity and implausibility ran amok in the storyline with girths as expansive as the sun-blocking alien mother ship that wreaked havoc on earth’s major landmarks and cities.

A doctor who was attacked by an alien in Area 51 in 1996 awoke after being in coma for 20-years with nary a muscular atrophy and jumps right back to work from where he stopped. A disheveled looking ex-president Whitmore who now walks with the aid of a walking stick suddenly suits up in fighter gear and gallantly struts to mount his fighter jet sans his walking stick and the limp we were introduced to earlier in the movie. Having barely escaped death in an artificial tsunami inspired by superior alien laser thingy, and rescued by some kids and then barely escaped another near-death experience whilst driving the obligatory school bus full of kids pursued by a queen alien who looks like the big bad cousin of the antagonist monster in Godzilla, Judd Hirsch’s Julius Levison’s first reaction on seeing his son, Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson, is to scold him for not calling him too often.

The tagline for Resurgence boasts “We had 20years to prepare… so did they”. Yet, in a move that mocks our supposed 20-year preparation, it took only 2 days to the next alien invasion for us to discover that an alien destroyer ship grounded somewhere in Africa (that continent turned into a country in both fact and fiction by the West) was drilling a hole into the earth’s core before being grounded and that the aliens had sent an “ET-phone home” distress call. So much for our preparation!

In, perhaps, a nod to another Roland Emmerich-directed crappy big-budget movie (Noah, where a decimated mankind is left with only an incestuous chance at survival via Noah and his brood), Resurgence provides mankind another seeming incestuous chance at survival.

Thankfully, Will Smith was absent in this sequel but his spawn took up the annoying mantle of hero. As did Bill Pullman’s Ex-President Whitmore and to a lesser degree, his fighter pilot daughter turned aide to Sela Ward’s President Elizabeth Lanford. Will Smith’s former stripper girlfriend/widow now turned hospital administrator played by Vivica A. Fox draws from the hero gene pool to save a newly-delivered mother before falling to certain death in a crashing skyscraper. Then there was Liam Hemsworth’s Jake Morrison, whose incestuous genealogy was traced to the first Independence Day (albeit his character did not feature in it) with the explanation that he was orphaned by the first alien attack in 1996. And of course, Hirsch and Goldblum were there to reprise their father and son hero tag team.

Resurgence continued the time-honoured tradition in alien movies where the aliens despite their far superior science and technology, have looks that suggest that they are the result of a failed Frankenstein experiment by a clearly inferior scientist. You would think that with all the superior technology and firepower they brought to whoop mankind’s ass the first time and this time around, they would at least have in their home planet a far more superior version of earth’s Dr. 90210 to give them a physical make over befitting of their superiority.

In Resurgence (as in all global disaster and alien invasion movies) the entire world supposedly bands together to fight back after the first alien attack. But in actuality; it was just America as usual suiting up as Globo Cop charging into battle with the red white and blue whilst the rest of the world (reduced to mere outstations of coalition Americana) looks on with fear and hope. Resurgence lays this shtick heavily and to annoying levels.

Independence Day: Resurgence is like an impressive CGI painting painted on an expensive canvass propped up on a wobbly easel and encased in a cheap frame for display. Much like its aliens, it mocks itself; all that impressive firepower, spaceship and superior technology but look at the ugly motherfather behind the captain’s deck!4/10

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Lawyer, movie reviewer, music lover, one time regular writer of unhappy poems inspired by Rock songs, daydreamer and people watcher… in that order.

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Esosa Omo-Usoh

Esosa Omo-Usoh

Lawyer, movie reviewer, music lover, one time regular writer of unhappy poems inspired by Rock songs, daydreamer and people watcher… in that order.

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