Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) – Film Review


Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast:  Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman
Certificate: 12A

by Anel Blazevic

The original Independence Day was a huge box office success, but received a critical mauling. Twenty years later, the only surprise in Independence Day: Resurgence is that it took them so long to get round to churning it out. When money talks, critics be damned.

Director Roland Emmerich has made his name in big, fun-but-dumb blockbusters, even attaining something of a disaster-porn cult following through The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 BC and Godzilla, among others – and Resurgence could easily be added to that list of crazy, relentless, blow-em-ups that make the most of a movie theatre’s noise, size and all-round cinematic experience.

Unfortunately, Resurgence also suffers from another Emmerich signature theme; the characters’ total lack of decent dialogue or immersive story arc, meaning you never really care or empathise with them.

Still, why should we care about things like that when other things are exploding in spectacular fashion, right?

independence day resurgence review 2016

“The headache intensity ramps up”

Liam Hemsworth and Jessie T. Usher attempt to fill the Will Smith void as Top Gun-esque fighter pilot buddies, Jeff Goldblum trots out his increasingly bizarre and erratic delivery schtick to little dramatic effect and Bill Pullman plays a disturbed and ageing president, plagued by extra-terrestrial enforced headaches any time the aliens are on the move.

In a shameless rip-off from Watchmen, peace has descended on Earth after the original alien invasion, but there’s a constant sense that when the aliens return they will be bigger, badder and more lasery than ever. And when the President’s headache intensity ramps up, we all know the blighters are about to return.

Cue lots of explosions, lots of panic and lots of noise as Earth’s fate hangs in the balance. Yet, even then, the film utterly refuses to take itself seriously. It really is non-stop stupidity – and I’m fully capable of sitting back and enjoying it all.

If you are too, then you’ll find lots to love in Independence Day: Resurgence. Just don’t expect it to totally blow you away.


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