INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE – AFJ REVIEW

Well, there's two hours that I will never get back. I need to trust Rotten Tomatoes more often because usually, they are dead on balls accurate. I can only presume that the Independence Day: Resurgence score will keep dropping as its already at a tepid 52% before the big opening day. And seriously, I wanted nothing more than to have a mindless 2 hours of action and heroics. However, the old characters from the original are still doing their schtick from 20 years ago and the new faces, are just completely wooden in their performances.

Independence Day: Resurgence is yet another attempt to make Thor's baby bro a big-time movie star. Unfortunately, just like in The Hunger Games films, Liam Hemsworth has all of two facial expressions. Sure, the ladies love him but looks will only take you so far in Hollywood no matter who you are related to. Even if it is the God of Thunder. Hemsworth plays hotshot Top Gun type pilot Jake Morrison, the former best friend of Dylan Hiller who is the son of the late pilot Steven Hiller aka Will Smith. Big shoes to fill here and let's just say there was a moon-like crater left without Smith's charm and likability. Jessie T. Usher plays the young Hiller and obviously, he got none of his late dad's charisma. Playing I guess some type of aide to President Lanford (Sela Ward) and the former pilot is ex-President Whitmore's daughter, Patricia (Maika Monroe). Unfortunately, the ex-President Whitmore (a disheveled Bill Pullman) has gone off the deep end since the invasion of '96 and is plagued by visions and bad dreams. The rest of the characters are either bit-part players from the first film or boring newcomers save for Travis Tope who plays the wisecracking sidekick pilot to Morrison.
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Basically, all has been well in the world since the big win 20 years ago. No wars or skirmishes, just a world of relative peace. The world has taken all of the aliens future tech and we are light years ahead and there are lots of cool new toys, weapons and space stations. A bunch of the core characters have been seeing or experiencing an ominous symbol of a circle with a line across it but no one knows what it is. Almost immediately, we take care of a threat when an alien orb descends into our airspace. Within minutes, there is a worldwide celebration for what might have been the most boring disposal of an alien orb ever. Naturally, the orb was basically coming to warn us that a new ship, far larger than the original's was coming. Director Roland Emmerich, known for his big-budget special effects flicks goes to town here in his sandbox. However, there was just nothing new here. Watching the massive ship demolish things like the London Bridge does not remotely carry the weight of the aliens blowing up the White House in '96.

Jeff Goldblum is back as well as David Levinson and is now basically in charge of all of our government's science divisions. Goldblum was great because he wasn't trying to pull off a perfect 10. He was affable and easy to understand just like his father played by the Benjamin Button-like Judd Hirsch. There are plenty of "callbacks" to the first film that may make you nostalgic for the late 90's but that is about it. Like we have seen with Aliens, Predator, and a dozen other similar films, the aliens have an enormous Alien Queen that eventually is the big bad of the film. Everyone arrives in the nick of time for any kind of rescue and it gets stale, fast. Plus there is zero timeline of what the duration of these events are. All we know is it is July 4th Independence Day but that's it.

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Boring and tired with a script that has zero heart and plenty of "insert action scene here" moments. There are some points where you actually can tell that the actors are on a giant airplane hangar style set with enormous green screens. For the seasoned film Junkie, it is painfully obvious when these moments happen. If you are looking for a rehash of all the same, then, by all means, go see Independence Day: Resurgence. To me, it felt more like Independence Day: Regurgitation because of it spewing nothing that made the first film fresh.

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