Thursday Night Movie Club
Independence Day: Resurgence
star rating graphicstar rating graphic½
Release Date: 24 June 2016

Director: Roland Emmerich
Liam Hemsworth
Jeff Goldblum
Jessie T. Usher
Bill Pullman
Maika Monroe
Sela Ward
William Fichtner
Judd Hirsch
Brent Spiner
Patrick St. Esprit
Vivica A. Fox
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Deobia Oparei
Nicolas Wright
Robert Loggia
Jake Morrison
David Levinson
Dylan Hiller
President Whitmore
Patricia Whitmore
President Lanford
General Adams
Julius Levinson
Dr. Brakish Okun
Secretary of Defense Tanner
Jasmine Hiller
Rain Lao
Catherine Marceaux
Dikembe Umbutu
Floyd Rosenberg
General Grey
Independence Day: Resurgence movie poster Independence Day: Resurgence movie poster Independence Day: Resurgence movie poster
The aliens return in Independence Day: ResurgenceLike most sequels of this type, Independence Day: Resurgence is too similar to the original. It is entertaining. There are some surprises. There are not the same cast of wonderful and interesting characters that made the first film special. For consistency, some characters return for an encore.

Former President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) is a wreck of a once honorable man. He spends most of his days wearing pajamas and a bathrobe. People are nice to him but they give him a wide berth. Whitmore is haunted by nightmares of his previous encounter with an alien race determined to wipe out humanity and horde the Earth's remaining natural resources. Is what he is seeing a nightmare of the past or visions of future events. Whitmore is certain the aliens will return. No on believes him.

Using the alien technology left behind from the previous encounter, planet Earth has united. Space ships regularly fly to the moon and back. A military base has been established along with an energy weapon that hopefully is powerful enough to destroy any further attacks.

Jeff Goldblum and Charlotte Gainsborough star in Independence Day: ResurgenceIn Africa, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) arrives with Floyd Rosenberg (Nicolas Wright) at a military base to meet warlord Dikimbe Umbutu (Deobia Oparei) and Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg), an old flame of Levinson. The base was set up near the remains of a crashed alien ship. Like Whitmore, Umbutu also is seeing visions of the aliens. Upon inspection, a shocking discovery is made. The ship sent a distress signal.

In a hospital bed, Dr. Brakish Okun (Brent Spiner) awakens from a coma he has been in since being attacked by an alien 20 years ago. Amazingly, his muscles are in perfect condition. He leaps out of bed and begins scribbling on the wall using alien symbols.

On the moon base, an spherical alien ship approaches. Current U.S. President Lanford (Sela Ward) orders it destroyed. The ship is destroyed.

What does all this mean? The aliens are back! Independence Day: Resurgence is a sequel. The big question: Is there anything new here? Answer: Not enough. The alien mother ship is much larger... surprise! The sphere is actually a message from another alien race seeking the help of the Earthlings setting up another sequel... surprise! The Queen of the alien invaders leaves the safety of her ship thus giving the humans the opportunity to kill her and stop the invasion... surprise! Gees the aliens are stupid.

The aliens return in Independence Day: ResurgenceThe big surprise is the effect the alien ships have on the landscape. Instead of using their main weapon, the gravitational pull of the ships literally tears whole buildings from their foundations. This special effects sequence is spectacular but the end result is not much different from the original.

The other surprise, one alien ship hovers over the Atlantic ocean and begins drilling into the Earth's crust. The time clock is ticking before the Earth is destroyed. The suspense is mind-numbing. There is no suspense. Of course the humans are smarter than any sentient race in the galaxy and we will be victorious.

Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner star in Independence Day: ResurgenceOne aspect that made "Independence Day" a good film was all of the quirky characters. There are none here. Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner walk through their part. Goldblum moves the story along with great lines, "It's bigger than the last one." No... ya think! Okun awakens from a 20-year coma and immediately stands and begins writing and no one finds this odd, fascinating, amazing, or impossible.

Will Smith was smart enough to avoid making this film. Replacing his Captain Steven Hiller is the rogue pilot Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth). Hemsworth is ok. The cast is ok. Bill Pullman is the best from the returning cast. None of the new characters stand out like Will Smith or Robert Loggia. The humorous one-liners and hilarious interplay between the characters is not. There are no great lines like, "That's not entirely accurate." Levinson replies, "What? Which part?".

Independence Day: Resurgence takes the safe route. There are just too many similarities to the original. Morrison's squadron attacks the mother ship using the alien technology. There ships are destroyed but the pilots are not. These airmen fight the aliens from within similar to the secret attack by Hiller and Levinson to upload a virus in the original. Destroy the mother ship and then get out before it explodes. Some serious creativity went into writing this script.

The aliens return in Independence Day: ResurgenceIndependence Day: Resurgence is an entertaining film. Most of the budget went into the stellar special effects rather than the script. Director Roland Emmerich shoots the film as a standard action flick. He doesn't add anything visually spectacular to the action scenes or the personal scenes. The ending that sets up another sequel lessens any excitement the film may have generated. "Oh no!" comes to mind at this shocking revelation.