Independence Day: Resurgence is a block without the buster. With dry dialogue, failed attempts at comic relief, and two-dimensional characters that leave audiences wondering why they were even in the film, it falls short of the expectations set by its predecessor. The film places too much weight on new actors who deliver downright unsatisfying performances.
However, it’s not all bad. The film does have moments of exhilaration and sci-fi action spectacles. This is especially the case at the beginning of the film, when a gigantic alien spacecraft destroys cities with its own gravity, landing on Earth as if it is a huge glove that grips the planet like a baseball. The biggest spectacle of the film is the military’s battle against the invaders’ monstrous queen, whose colossal size rivals that of Godzilla and King Kong.
After 20 years of peace and prosperity, Earth has become highly advanced, integrating both human and alien technology to improve its military strength. After the characters discover that an alien ship even more devastating than the previous one is on its way, they once again find themselves fighting for the preservation of the human race.
An underlying theme is the film’s advanced innovative technology. The modern military aircraft, state-of-the-art weaponry, and a tightly secured alien prison in Area 51 reflects the highly mechanized world in which the film is set. But as interesting as these themes can be, they do little to alleviate the film’s lack of heart.
The film is ultimately hindered by the lack of a compelling core relationship, such as that between Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum in the first Independence Day. While Goldblum does return, the absence of Smith in this sequel definitely hurts the film as a whole. Without his hotshot attitude and memorable humour, this sequel ends up being incomplete and empty.
The weakest link of the cast is Liam Hemsworth, whose portrayal of a hotshot pilot is little more than an archetypical character that has been done way too many times before. From his weak chemistry with Goldblum’s character to his not-so-funny scene of urinating in front of aliens inside their spaceship, his character can only be described as a caricature of Tom Cruise’s Maverick from Top Gun and Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy.
On top of all of these failings, the one that really takes the cake is the presence of a talking alien sphere near the end of the film. (Spoiler!) The sphere, which poses as an obstacle to the alien forces in conquering the universe, ends up becoming an ally of the human race. This development completely breaks the film’s momentum and ends up being downright silly.
Overall, Independence Day: Resurgence copies its predecessor without including any of the heart or energy that made it great. Although Goldblum leads the charge once again, the film fails to meet expectations with low-quality dialogue, two-dimensional characters, cliché heroisms, and repetitive close calls that elude any possibility of being genuine. Any hopes for this sequel to have the same excitement that made the first film an entertaining adventure fades away within its first 10 minutes.