Independence Day: ResurgenceIndependence Day: Resurgence
Year: 2016
Rating: PG-13
Length: 120 minutes / 2.0 hours

Can we just be real for a second? Is the nostalgia factor so strong in Hollywood these days that anything coming upon its 20th anniversary is re-made, rebooted, and sequeled to death? Certainly, this is a pretty good marketing strategy, since last year’s Jurassic World (2015) was such a huge financial success, even though it was essentially the exact same plot as the original Jurassic Park (1993). Clearly, the millennials who grew up with these films want to see them on the big screen again, 20+ years later with newer and flashier special effects. After all, Moore’s Law implicates the visual style should be more than 1,000 times better than its predecessor.

Here’s the problem I have with this re-quel that seems to be going around: it doesn’t give us anything new. Take Independence Day (1996) for example. This film was a great action film filled with plenty of interesting sci-fi, memorable characters, and brief moments of tension-lifting comedy. Now, fast forward 20 years and now we have Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). While the same elements were there, it just didn’t have the same spark as the original. Sure, it had some of the exact same characters, aged 20 years, and it even had new characters to replace the ones who didn’t appear in this sequel. But for some reason, I just didn’t care about them. These characters were in a future different from this current time, which merely added to the disconnect.

Sure, the film takes the logical next steps after the conclusion of its 1996 original, but everything just felt so . . . forced. What made the original great was its focus on the United States standing up and leading the charge against alien invaders. With the world in the film now united, “Independence Day” just doesn’t have as much of an impact to the audience as it did when Bill Pullman gave his famous, presidential speech. Sure, they tried it again with another speech, and another plot that almost exactly mirrors the originals, but that’s not why I wanted to see this film. I wanted to see what new things could be thought up, but instead I got 20-year-old leftovers. I’m not going to even mention my complete and utter ire at the clear call out for a sequel to this film. This does not need to be a trilogy, but now it has completely and fully fallen into the Trilogy Conundrum.

An unnecessary film that merely highlights a Hollywood who is trying too hard to cash in on 1990’s nostalgia, I give Independence Day: Resurgence 2.5 stars out of 5.

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