I recently watched Independence Day: Resurgence with the full expectation of a hilariously bad sequel twenty years late. I picked it up from the $12.00 rack at Wal-Mart, which is about my threshold for “Huh, this movie could be bad.” While it wasn’t all bad, Independence Day: Resurgence suffered from a lot of issues which I’ll discuss after the break.
The biggest issue I had with this movie was that it seemed like it wanted to capture certain scenes from the old movie again, but failed to integrate them into a cohesive story. The most obvious of these is when President Whitmore breaks into the alien prison so that they can do the tentacle scene again (this time with President Whitmore as the talker instead of Dr. Okun). They got the scene right – right down to the lack of bullet proof glass that they happily shot through to kill the alien… …But the scene fell totally flat for me as it was very obviously just trying to remind the audience that saw Independence Day how cool that scene was.
Another issue I had is that it was very difficult for me to care about the new characters. The older characters (which are primarily those who survived from the previous film – President Whitmore, David Levinson, and Dr. Okun) are relegated to the thinking roles in the film, which is where all the cool stuff is taking place. Conversely, the new characters – Jake Morrison, Dylan Hiller, Rain Lao (I guess? These seemed like main-ish characters) – were doing all the action/shooty bits which I had the hardest time caring about. I also feel like they did a poor job introducing these characters – they came across to me as extremely juvenile, which made me care about them even less.
So, why did I like this movie? I actually liked the plot and movement of the story. I felt like the idea was solid and the execution, even with its flaws, was actually pretty good. I could tell that this was a movie for a newer audience, but it didn’t try to be everything to that audience – it also knew that the existing audience for Independence Day expected more, and reasonably delivered.
Overall, I feel like this movie was well worth my time and money investment. It was good, even if it was something of a quagmire of “could have been better”. I’m now also reasonably excited about a possible third film – if they can pull off what they’ve done here, it will be a worthwhile movie. If they can execute on the “could have been better,” it should be pretty awesome.