Independence Day: Resurgence - Online Review

'The cracks soon start to show in Resurgence's multi-million dollar facade, first and foremost through the Will Smith-shaped hole that Emmerich comprehensively fails to fill'.

There's an argument to be made that Independence Day: Resurgence is now the summer blockbuster which holds the dubious honour of becoming jarringly outdated sooner than any other. There's little doubt where Roland Emmerich got his inspiration from in creating Elizabeth Lanford (Sela Ward), the first woman to hold the Oval Office in the film's version of 2016. But, with Donald Trump now set to become the 45th President Of The United States next year, Emmerich's film has taken on an awkwardly premature obsolescence a little over four months after its theatrical release at the end of June.

As a belated sequel to Independence Day, a film which screams '90s blockbuster style and execution ever more loudly with each year that passes, Resurgence was doomed to feels somewhat late to the party in some way no matter what approach Emmerich took. The opening act offers some promise in its set-up however: the same amount of time has passed in the film's universe as it has in the real world, with a global utopia established to unite against the threat of extra-terrestrial invasion powered by the advances the recovered alien technology has afforded over the past two decades. It's pure Hollywood sci-fi - characters casually nipping back and forth from the Moon, and so on - but it works in the post-Independence Day milieu Emmerich creates.

The cracks soon start to show in Resurgence's multi-million dollar facade however, first and foremost through the Will Smith-shaped hole that Emmerich comprehensively fails to fill. Liam Hemsworth is initially put forward as the solution, playing opposite the returning Jeff Goldblum for a good chunk of the first half, but the young actor struggles to rise to the task and is given little to work with in the first place. The relationship between and Goldblum and Hemsworth's characters also serves as a neat analogy for the bigger problem that, for much of the running time, Emmerich simply can't decide if he wants Resurgence to be a nostalgia trip or a soft reboot.

The director's decision to bring back Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch), father of David (Goldblum), is a case in point. The chemistry between Goldblum and Hirsch was one of the most charming elements of the original film, a plus point which is lost here as David and Julius spend barely any time together. Instead, Emmerich wastes time forcing Julius into a pointless subplot involving a group of children introduced in slapdash fashion and never developed by the director - one of several plot threads which could be described in just the same way. Emmerich finally decides in the closing moments that he does indeed want Resurgence to lead into at least one more sequel, simultaneously making the blundering error of not actually concluding the story he's started here.

Independence Day: Resurgence is currently available on Amazon Instant Video.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a contributing editor at Film Intel. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. When he's not writing about films here, Ben is usually writing about films - mostly Shakespeare adaptations - for his MA by Research. He's also on and Twitter.

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