'Independence Day : Resurgence'
U/A; Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Bill Pullman
'Independence Day: Resurgence,' sequel to the 20 year old block buster prequel, hopes to re-establish the sci-fi disaster movie genre with a bigger bang than the first issue. Then, even Oprah had gone to town discussing the mind-blowing special effects that earned the first movie millions of bucks at the Box office worldwide. This time round, though, the marketing appears to be feeble and the pre-release buzz is less than inveigling. To top that, the production house makes it a release day viewing for the critics – so even before you enter the theatres you have a premonition that all is not well here.
Will Smith may be absent but the rest of the gang is all back – including Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and friends who join new recruits Liam Hemsworth and others in a fight against space invaders. Having learnt their lessons from the first alien blitzkrieg that hit the earth, the nations of the Earth collaborate on an immense defense program using recovered alien technology, to help protect the planet. But nothing can prepare them for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force. So it's up to a few brave and ingenious men and women to bring the world back from the brink of extinction.
America is still the super-power the world looks up to and Madam President (Sela Ward) is called upon to take a call on destroying the alien spaceship that has invaded Earth's frontiers. With a heavy heart and against the advice of chief alien detection expert David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) she orders it's destruction but things are not as they seem. This alien ship and it's inhabitants are different from the one that attacked the earth 20 years ago. And there's another set who have slithered in between all that confusion. So it's not looking good for the earthlings.
This is bigger, louder, showier than the first one and goes through all the motions of the predecessor with bountiful imagination and cutting edge technique. Of course the science of it is just as ridiculous, the levity doesn't quite cut it, and the world monuments being ground to rubble look just as spectacular (and sometimes silly too) - Malaysia's Petronas towers are carried halfway round the world to send London's Tower Bridge falling down and there's many more just as wildly imaginative. To top it, there's a repeat of the dog rescue sequence from the original – this time round it's a terrier instead of a Golden Retriever being rescued from flying debris and instant immolation.
'Resurgence' is surely attempting to do a 'Jurassic World' for the franchise but this Roland Emmerich helmed sequel appears to have delayed it's coming by a good ten years. The current generation has already seen countless repeat and reprise efforts from contemporary spectacle specialists so this one doesn't quite have the blistering genre redefining power that the original did. The irreverence involved in the monument trashing on display here makes it all seem quite ridiculous, fanciful and tends towards tedium. To the extent that even a short 120 minute runtime begins to feel a little long in the tooth!