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Independence Day Resurgence: Review

Imagine Avatar, Star Wars, Aliens and Armageddon had been terrible films. Now imagine that all of those films had been made into one film rather than four different ones. Now remove any emotional investment in the characters, plot, suspense and comic relief. Ladies and Gentlemen what you have now is what is arguably a better movie than Independence Day: Resurgence.

I am an avid fan of the first instalment in this franchise and, much like other ham-fisted Hollywood trilogies such as The Matrix and Blade, I find it hard to justify why a sequel was needed. Whilst the 1996 blockbuster is a cheesy, suspenseful and visually stunning with state of the art CGI and storytelling that pulls you in, this sequel is bereft of all of the qualities that made its predecessor so loveable. Gone are the dramatic moments, gone is the suspenseful build-up to the alien invasion, the element of peril against our Earth-bound heroes, and so too Will Smith who, after watching this, may thank his lucky stars he didn’t sign on for it. Set 20 years to the day since the aliens first attacked, the Earth has rebuilt itself with all nations living in harmony, peace and prosperity, protected by laser cannons (supposedly derived from alien tech) on the Moon and an orbital defence network. Jeff Goldblum, the geeky hero from the first movie, reprises his role as David Levinson, now head of the Earth Space Defence or whatever it's called. Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe and Angelababy play a plucky band of cardboard cut-out hot shot non-characters who are supposed to be the underdogs. Besides adding next to nothing to the movie I have yet to see a Liam Hemsworth performance that justifies his lead billing (Independence Day 2 wasn’t it). I could go on about how the human element is missing entirely. We genuinely don’t care when characters are killed off or entire cities are wiped out. There is no overarching theme of the endeavour of the human spirit or the resilience of mankind. Instead we are treated to 129 minutes of explosions, convoluted dialogue, bizarre subplots about a ten-year long ground war against the invaders in sub-Saharan Africa, and two-dimensional characters that verge on both racist and comical for the wrong reasons.

I’ll spare you a long, drawn out rant about just how awful this movie is. I feel a certain kindred spirit with Jeff Goldblum’s character in the first movie, trying desperately to warn the world of the impending doom that is rumbling towards us from the stars. I want to shout from the rooftops just how awful this movie is. Spare yourself the misery of this two-hour long nonsensical and CGI-wrought garbagefest and instead watch the original to remind yourself of a time when filmmakers believed in what they did and knew how to tell a story.

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