Film review: Independence Day: Resurgence has all the ingredients for a spectacular sequel but falls short

Independence Day: Resurgence Director: Roland Emmerich Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman, Jesse Usher, Maika Monroe Two stars There’s a maxim in the football world – never go back. Howard Wilkinson felt it in his dismal second spell at Everton and, more recently, José Mourinho experienced it when he returned to Chelsea. Mercifully, film […]

Independence Day: Resurgence

Director: Roland Emmerich

Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman, Jesse Usher, Maika Monroe

Two stars

There’s a maxim in the football world – never go back. Howard Wilkinson felt it in his dismal second spell at Everton and, more recently, José Mourinho experienced it when he returned to Chelsea.

Mercifully, film isn’t always so unforgiving. James Cameron’s return to the Terminator franchise was spectacular, and few would argue with George Lucas’s The Empire Strikes Back, a successful return to that galaxy far, far away. So how does Roland Emmerich fare on his return to Independence Day, 20 years after the original movie saw aliens invading our planet?

On paper, to keep with the Euro 2016 theme, he had the best squad: invading aliens, stuff blowing up and none other than Jeff Goldblum in a lead role. It’s hard to make a mess of that.

But Emmerich does. A clumsy introduction paves the way for new central characters. Will Smith’s fighter pilot Steven Hiller is gone; instead we have his son Dylan (Jesse Usher), who follows in his father’s career path. For reasons that are never made entirely clear, Dylan has a bit of an issue with fellow pilot Jake (Liam Hemsworth). It’s not a big deal because Jake lives on the moon, from where he regularly Skypes with his girlfriend Patricia (Maika Monroe), the daughter of President Whitmore (Bill Pullman reprising his role from the original), as they try to maintain a long-distance relationship.

Before we know it, aliens are invading Earth. We’re never entirely sure how or why, as they all appeared to be dead at the end of the first film, but now there’s a queen and a mystical sphere. The rift between Jake and Dylan is cleared up so that they can combine forces and take down the aliens. An ageing Pullman shaves his beard and gets on board, too. There’s also a school bus that gets into trouble.

The film had so much potential, but even the special effects we expected are relegated to a one-minute period about 20 minutes in. Disappointingly, the Burj Khalifa barely gets any screen time amid the scenes of destruction. The rest of the film becomes a morass of “Do it for America” clichés, with barely sketched characters and murky alien threats. I badly wanted to like this film, but didn’t.

cnewbould@thenational.ae

Source: art & life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *