You may have heard that Independence Day: Resurgence did not screen for American critics ahead of it’s release on June 24, but lucky (?) UK critics got a chance to see all the destruction for themselves. They seemed to love how cheesy it is and how much it honored the 1996 original. Will Smith didn’t come back, but who cares — there’s Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, and Judd Hirsch. And, oh yeah, there’s Chris Hemsworth’s brother too! What could go wrong?
American critics, on the other hand, couldn’t disagree more. The final wave of reviews on filmmaker Roland Emmerich’s alien invasion follow-up hit the internet today and they’re not so nice. Like the Earthly inhabitants of the movie itself, we were foolish and ignorant.
Here’s the general consensus on Independence Day: Resurgence:
“The plot is a big jumble of story lines, nonsense science talk and lots of “in ‘96” references. Speaking of ‘96, there’s nothing even remotely as thrilling or memorable as the first here — no mom, son and pup running through an L.A. tunnel, no Will Smith complaining about missing a barbeque while dragging a comatose alien through the desert, and no set pieces likely to influence future action movies.
“If you want to enjoy even a few minutes of this sorry-ass sequel, it’s best not to think…The only thing resurgent in this humorless mess is Hollywood’s passion to charge us more and deliver less.”
“It’s just dull and hollow—a massive waste of time and money. The characters are flimsy, the dialogue is stilted and the amount of destruction is ridiculous, even if that’s all pretty typical for the brand of blockbusters inspired by Emmerich’s 1996 hit.”
“The movie’s dips into all-out space opera (interstellar travel, more alien species, etc.) are only meant to get the audience pumped for a movie that doesn’t yet exist, making the undistinguished climax seem like a skirmish. The fact that it mostly rests on the shoulders of the younger cast—either wasted or given too little screen time early on to matter—doesnt help.”
It takes a movie that pioneered a terrible movie trend and only winds up crapping out another anonymous, forgettable summer movie that will be forgotten after its opening weekend. Then again, given our rotten times, it may be the “Independence Day” we deserve.”
“Every generation thinks that things were better in their day, but — if alien invasion movies have taught us anything — it’s that some warning signs shouldn’t be ignored. When considered in respect to the original, Independence Day: Resurgence is an immaculate case study in how far blockbusters have fallen. Where Independence Day had a wide cast of charismatic actors, Resurgence plugs in their Costco brand generic counterparts. Where Independence Day exhibited the patience of classic studio filmmaking, crescendoing to the alien attack by wracking up the tension for more than an hour, Resurgence scrambles for its money shots as though it’s afraid that audiences might click away to something more interesting. Where Independence Day was written with the gusto of a game-changer and the scale of an extinction-level event, Resurgence unfolds with the cynical grace of a cash-grab and the stakes of a shareholders meeting.”
“Here is all this mad and blinkered expectation for the future, when all of us watching in the audience sense that only oblivion waits. How cruel to bring all these people back to life, just to set them about destroying themselves, making them stage grim facsimiles of previous triumphs in the hopes that they’ll be heroes again, all the while unwittingly laying waste to their own legacy. Independence Day: Resurgence is an act of annihilation.
“The sequel is even more silly, and much less fun. Most of the movie seems to take place in green-hued catacombs and dark bunkers. With just a couple of exceptions, everyone seems depressed, or detached from the action. The 3D, at its best, looks like 2.5D. The new film feels like watching the first Independence Day, with a bad hangover.”
Independence Day: Resurgence is the worst kind of bad movie: one that seems indifferent about its own existence. Everything about it feels as if it just doesn’t give a shit about the audience watching it or the people who made it or even the fact that it’s unspooling before us. All it cares about is making as much money as possible.”
“The trade-off for a few seconds of spectacular global destruction is an incomprehensible bloated mess of a script. The movie is a pile-on of extraneous characters, meaningless events and unnecessary references to the original movie, all tied together — badly by enough expository chit-chat to leave you feeling beaten into submission.”
“Independence Day: Resurgence is terribly unremarkable to the point of being terrible. It is the least imaginative, least challenging Independence Day sequel you could imagine. The ships are bigger, the catastrophe is greater, and the action is more plentiful. But everything else is in painfully short supply. They had twenty years to prepare, and this is the best they could come up with?”