“Time to kick some serious alien ass!”

id22017.4: Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence is a pretty stupid title for a film, even an ID sequel- it’s hardly easy on the tongue is it. A simple ID2 monicker would have sufficed, or perhaps ID2: The Aliens Strike Back, which would at least (George Lucas/Disney notwithstanding) been more honest/faithful to the exploitation feel of the whole enterprise. After all, with all the alien gadgetry and dashing to the moon in ten minutes and giant space guns,  Independence Day: Resurgence is more of a Star Wars film than anything else anyway. Or to be more precise, in its endless blitzkrieg of ‘spectacular’ cgi nonsense it feels more of an overblown Star Wars wannabe than those prequels did. Indeed, it makes those prequels seem positively restrained.

Yes, the gloves are off with this one. It literally seems to throw everything at the screen barring the kitchen sink (and maybe there’s one of those in the background ruins somewhere). Essentially,this mindless parade is a two-hour long effects reel sprinkled with a few scenes of actors struggling with inane dialogue in a futile attempt to dig some plot out of the chaos (actors from the first film are thrown in almost randomly with often unintentionally funny results).

The first film was hardly a shining example of restraint or credible storytelling but this film takes it to some other level entirely, indeed, it almost makes the first film look pretty good in hindsight. That word I used earlier, ‘exploitation,’ hangs heavy over this whole wearisome exercise. It really is a terrible film.The script is banal, the acting phoned-in, the effects such a wearing assault on the senses it all becomes incredibly boring. When will Hollywood learn that even the most spectacular visuals need some kind of context, some kind of emotional underpinning. Just throwing all this cgi shit onscreen expecting it to ‘wow’ people… well, maybe it worked twenty years ago with the first Independance Day, but audiences are more sophisticated these days, right? Er… right?

Its all the more depressing after seeing the intelligence and emotional power of Arrival last year, a grown-up and adult look at the same subject. I do hope those idiots that praised this film last summer didn’t walk out of Arrival feeling too bored, poor things.

Maybe it will be another twenty years before we get a third one. I live in hope.

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