Independence Day. It is this country’s greatest holiday and a classic film. What film is more suitable to watch on Independence Day? It was yet another trampoline for Will Smith’s career, a film that cemented the name Bill Pullman and a blockbuster in which our country became unified during one of its most desperate times. Inspiring, explosive and dark yet hopeful, Independence Day is one of the best action films ever made.
This is why Independence Day: Resurgence should have caused an uproar. I will never understand the hatred for this Ghostbusters remake. Is Ghostbusters a classic? Yes. Should it have been remade? I’d have to say no because its originality alone defies the term “franchise”. Ghostbusters 2 wasn’t able to churn out the same delicacy despite following the same recipe. I’m unsure why this new crew thinks they can do what the original ensemble couldn’t but I digress. We’re talking about a film that is far worse than Ghostbusters 3.0. We’re talking about Independence Day: Resurgence.
Resurgence is a fun one, let me tell ya. An aged Goldblum, a pretty face Hemsworth and an elderly Pullman.
I will give 20th Century Fox some credit. They made this film look enticing.
For two minutes.
In the trailer. (It’s been one of the best trailers of the year)
It looked like it was supposed to look: a big visual snare.
No one expected Resurgence to be better, at least no one sensible. Classics can’t be remade. That’s what makes them classics. They are truly one-of-a-kind. While we may see films steal components, no one will ever be able to put together another Independence Day. There will never be another one, which should make us cherish the 1996 jewel that much more.
The best a remake/sequel, or in this case, film’s version of a defibrillator, can do is shock some life into a dormant fan base. There will always be a fan base for Independence Day. One of if not the only way a film can try to best its superior is by using the skills it has been born with. Those skills, in 2016, are special effects. Believe it or not, film hasn’t changed that much in the last 20 years. The writing hasn’t magically gotten better. Actors haven’t become more talented. The only element that’s really changed is a studio’s ability to birth visual splendor. It might not be pretty but we can make it look pretty sometimes.
Independence Day: Resurgence is not pretty. It is an action film that leans far too heavily on its special effects team. Few computer squads can bail out a roster of filmmakers. Visuals can astound and mask glaring faults but no amount of makeup can cover the mistakes that protrude as far as the ones exhibited in ID2.
Characters with no heart are especially troubling and overly calm, leaving little reason to invest in the experience or be alarmed that a rather bland looking spacecraft just wiped half of the planet like duct tape on chest hair. You would think this scene in particular would give us cause to be concerned but there are no shots except for one of people fleeing from the chaos. We have shots of apparent empty streets being obliterated by a monstrous vessel and of course we can’t forget the landmarks, a fourth wall breaker that serves a very slight smirk but is overall consumed by my lack of amusement with everything else here.
There’s also Emmerich’s thirst for obliviousness. For instance, this spacecraft, which keep in mind is bigger than the Atlantic is wide, stops its razing of the Earth’s surface on the White House lawn. Such convenience, that a ship that rivals the size of a continent took it upon itself to stop feet short of the White House masonry! That is quite something! So considerate these aliens are.
The thing about convenience in film is that you need to build something first before dabbing convenience all over like a preschooler finger painting. If you don’t, absurdity is more readily noticeable and audiences are far less likely to overlook it.
One of the biggest scenes in the film should be the boundless obliteration. Instead, it breeds indifference. It can’t even birth hate. It’s just there and nowhere close to interesting enough to gauge a passing glance. Liam Hemsworth again demonstrates he’s not worth top billing, Goldblum and Pullman pick up little more than cameo checks and the rest aren’t even worth mentioning.
It’s near impossible to root for characters that resemble mannequins, the action has a dog collar, strait jacket, life vest and seat belt on it’s so constricted and Emmerich’s direction has the control of a man on crutches trying to cross a pond of ice and the attentiveness of a cat with ADD. Subplots arise to include original characters that aren’t needed and we can’t forget about a romantic twist of course and the conclusion that is far too perfect.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has Fallen, The Cable Guy, The Cabin in the Woods, Tears of the Sun, Edge of Tomorrow)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Underworld, The Do-Over, X-Men: Apocalypse, D-Tox/Eye See You, Constantine)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: Evolution, Batman & Robin, Bloodsport, War, The Ridiculous 6)
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The Crow: City of Angels, Centurion, Planet of the Apes, Stonados, Redemption)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie Stoner, The Forbidden Dimensions, Cyborg, Outcast, Sabotage)
My score for Independence Day: Resurgence: 31.
Without fervor or thrill and action without punch, dialogue without zing and wistful explosions, Independence Day: Resurgence is a disgraceful piece that serves as a blight to Emmerich’s reputation and more importantly, a mark on Independence Day. It will always be great, that’ll never change, but now we’ll all remember that one time someone thought its story needed continued and made failure look so effortless.