It's time to get the band back together, well, most of the band, because the aliens that were so brilliantly defeated in 1996 are back. This time, however, they've got a bigger ship with bigger guns. However, the question still remains: is bigger better?
In this case, the answer is a resounding no. Independence Day: Resurgence is not a good film, and it pales in comparison to the original, which just about stands up to this day thanks to memorable performances and special effects that, for the time at least, were cutting edge.
What we're treated to in this revival is a tired and cliched action movie that rehashes the original plot with a modern twist, and that at every turn tries to copy what made the original such a blast. Sadly it fails in replicating the secret sauce that cemented our affection for the first, and all we're left with is a clunky homage and some clever special effects.
When it comes to the visual aspect, Resurgence looks great. There's a lot of CGI as you would probably expect, especially considering the action moves from Earth up to the Moon and back again, and the fact that there are giant spaceships and laser-filled dogfights on the menu. One thing that you couldn't possibly deny is that they've turned up the sense of scale, and here everything is bigger than it was last time around. Ultimately, though, that's the only positive we took away from watching the film.
The actors give it a go, but mostly they're going through the motions, and not even Jeff Goldblum does enough to rescue the scenes that he stars in. Will Smith had the good sense to pass on this sequel, and therefore the charisma is supposed to come from Liam Hemsworth, which it kind of does, but not to the extent that it makes any difference to our overall impression of the movie. The cast was certainly capable of delivering better, but given the predictable script, and the fact that the story plays out almost identically to the original, you can't really blame them for looking so bored all the time.
We went in with high hopes that Independence Day: Resurgence would capture the spirit of the first movie, coupling that with new ideas and an interesting plot. Instead, all we got was the same old story but with a new lick of paint and a cringeworthy script. To call this a bitter disappointment would be an understatement, and despite the fact that they've left things open for a third film, we really hope that this is the last we've seen of this particular alien threat.