“Independence Day: Resurgence” grills up some new alien thrills and seasons it with some nice nostalgia, but once you take a bite it starts to taste more like deja vu.
It’s been 20 years since the last alien attack and Earth has spent those years wisely developing technology and weapons to be prepared for the aliens’ eventual return.
And sure enough it comes. A distress call from the last attack has finally reached another alien ship (and you think your wifi is slow). So the aliens have returned in a bigger and badder ship and they’re madder than ever.
You’ll see more than enough familiar faces in the cast that includes Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth), David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), Dylan Hiller (Jessie T. Usher), President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe), who are ready to save the world yet again.
At least they think they are.
The movie does manage to entertain. There are lots of explosions and aerial alien battles that seem like a cross between “Star Wars” and “Top Gun.” And there is also some humor that is wonderfully provided by Goldblum’s dry jokes as the world crashes around him.
While the plot does keep you in your seat it goes in five different directions all at once. At the same time there are a half-dozen subplots trying to be developed. The film would have benefited from shedding the unnecessary and undeveloped plot lines to create a more cohesive story.
“Independence Day: Resurgence” does a lot of callbacks to the first film, so much so that it feels a little too familiar. And by the end of the film, the suspense fizzles out before the climax.
The acting is about what you’d expect and the cast does a good job of giving their characters some form of life — with bonus points to Goldblum. But the personalities of the characters — the trouble-making pilot, the hero pilot, the girl pilot, the quirky scientist, the stern tribal African leader, etc. — are all archetypes we’ve seen thousands of times before. And then, because of their inadequate formation, there are so few characters we care enough about to worry if they’re going to make it to the end credits.
“Independence Day: Resurgence” is a movie that’s no doubt geared for a particular audience: fans of the first film and alien-invasion enthusiasts. If that’s what you’re looking for, dig in and try it. But if you want a film that adds something fresh, you might want to pass because “Independence Day: Resurgence” is just microwaved leftovers.