In 1996 ‘Independence Day’ became one of the year’s biggest movies. An escapist sci-fi epic about pesky aliens determined to destroy earth, it was a mindless block-buster in the classic Hollywood tradition. A more commercially minded variation of the 1950’s alien invasion films, it raked in buckets of cash. It should surprise no one that a sequel was made. That it took twenty year to materialise speaks volumes of the often slow process of Tinsletown’s infamous ‘development hell’. The result is fair nonsense in the familiar popcorn variety fashion.
Biding their time for revenge, an evil alien race is intent on destroying earth once more. Facing a planet using technology borrowed from their last encounter, the aliens face a group of humans ready for battle. Amongst the humans are scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and fighter pilot Jake (Liam Hemsworth). Standing for their world against a wicked galactic force, humanity fights back for honour and freedom.
‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is pure fantastical fluff. You can’t take it too seriously as spaceships whiz around a terrified earth. The film exists purely as a vehicle to show off the amazing CGI and to increase a cinema’s noise level. Both leave more of an impression than the acting and script which are both mediocre. But you expect that for this type of mindless block-buster with director Roland Emmerich, an old hand at these sorts of puff pieces.
The biggest reason why ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is largely forgettable is the uninteresting characters. Apart from Goldblum and Pullman, none are memorable with most of the characters living in a charisma-free zone. That’s something the first film had with the sequel going through the motions with the mechanics of commercial film-making often in view. If you go along for the silly ride then it works although Shakespeare has no reason to fear its script-writers from stealing his mantle.
An escapist yarn only Hollywood could make, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is very predictable but fun. It’s fair-to-middling without being great although viewers should remember to collect their brains they leave at the door when seeing this expensive but mindless piffle.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 5
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.