Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T. Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Munroe
Director: Roland Emmerich
It’s exactly twenty years on from the moment Will Smith’s plucky Captain Steve Hiller flew his tiny craft into the heart of the colossal alien vessel about to eliminate mankind. During the following two decades, humanity has put its differences to one side, merged alien and human technology together for the good of man and finally we all live as one. Hurray for us. But as cinema history has proved many times, aliens don’t know when they’re beaten, and the squealing cybernetically augmented inter-dimensional buggers are coming back to finish the job. As they destroy London quicker than a Boris Johnson compulsory purchase order, the world’s forces ready themselves for battle. Unsurprisingly lead by the US president, Hiller’s son Dylan (Usher) commands a crack force of aerial fighters who set out to stop the gigantic alien killing force.
The first unforgivable point of Resurgence is how utterly fucking boring and predictable it is. The plot is almost identical to the first movie; the same cities are destroyed, the same characters spout the same lines, the same fist-pumping American cannon fodder hug each other in military control centres. When Will Smith turned down the sequel to concentrate on the Suicide Squad franchise, audible groans could be heard from the studios across Hollywood, and Resurgence has confirmed every single hint of trepidation.
Where the first film at least had the advantage of a surprisingly graphic blitz of the world’s capitals and leant heavily on a Will Smith at the top of his game, Resurgence just feels like a cheap B-movie remake. Given the cost of this utter arse-fest, that is truly inexcusable. There are no twists, no turns, no surprises, no shocking character deaths, just a laborious elderly dog’s nod towards its predecessor.
For all the blue eyes and Hollywood chiselled good looks, Liam Hemsworth can’t help completely lacking charisma. That’s not to say he doesn’t do what is asked, just that unfortunately he naturally has the charm of an elderly pug with an eye infection. Love him or hate him, where Will Smith always delivered was with arrogant cutting wit and street wise acumen. Hemsworth acts as a microcosm for the movie; Resurgence lacks any spark of magnetism. The CGI is technically impressive, the acting presentable, but apart from Brent Spiner’s babbling mad-scientist, all characters are achingly dull and lack any level of depth.
Independence Day: Resurgence fails pretty spectacularly in carrying the torch for its forerunner. Like its main characters, it lacks any piece of discernible charisma and attempts to make up for a lack of magic with more and more CGI. It’s yet another disappointment in the 2016 summer blockbuster debacle.
3 / 10