Movie Review: Independence Day: Resurgence (PG)
Go big or go home.
That has always been Roland Emmerich's mantra, and once again, the German director lives up to expectations.
It's been 20 years since David Levinson(Jeff Goldblum) helped save humanity from annihilation, but world peace was not meant to be. When the alien queen decides to invade Earth once again, it’s up to David and hotshot pilots Jake (Liam Hemsworth) and Dylan (Jesse T. Usher) to come up with a new plan.
This sequel to the 1996 blockbuster hit is best summed up by David after the first sighting of the alien mothership: “It’s definitely bigger than the last one.”
Subtlety has never been Emmerich’s strong suit - Resurgence is a visual spectacle all right.
He waited 20 years for the appropriate technology to execute his vision, and he sure didn’t waste any time.
Right from the start, he fires on all cylinders, destroying Saturn, the Moon and some other unnamed planets before his eye fixes on the prize... the third rock from the Sun.
Within half an hour, Marina Bay Sands is blasted into smithereens, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is uprooted and unceremoniously dropped onto London’s River Thames.
City after city gets decimated, and there’s also a sly nod to Emmerich’s love for destroying the White House.
All this is expected from Emmerich, whose original Independence Day blew our minds away then.
Perhaps because of his love for blowing things up, he forgets plot and characters.
Resurgence is supposed to be the official handover to a new generation, but it’s clear the old guards like Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner’s wacky scientist Dr Brakish Okun lord over Hemsworth and Usher.
The two young actors sorely lack the chemistry and sass Goldblum and leading man Will Smith shared in the original.
Even the supposedly inspirational speeches do not have the same rousing effect as Pullman’s hair-standing monologue in the first film - the updated rah-rah talk comes across as cheesy.
The finale shamelessly sets up for another follow-up, but one can only hope Emmerich pays more attention to his story and people the next time.