Monday, August 8, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence

Directed by Roland Emmerich . Written by Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, and James Vanderbilt. Starring Liam Hemsworth (Jake Morrison), Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Bill Pullman (President Whitmore).

Bottom line: Computer graphics and failed attempts to exploit nostalgia. Please avoid Independence Day: Resurgence.

Independence Day: Resurgence opens to a voice over of the President’s monologue from the first film. It’s one thing to make a nod to a predecessor but it’s quite another when a movie immediately breaks into a reference just for reference’s sake.

Now, the idea is that America defeated the aliens in 1996. Using the unifying threat of the aliens and the technology they left behind, the world is all futuristic. But wait! The aliens are back. Now America has to defeat them again.

I’m sure you’ve seen movies which are bad but not fun-bad. Fun-bad movies are cheesy and, well, fun to laugh at and with. Think about Sharknado. It’s a shark-filled tornado. It’s absurd and fun to talk about the absurdity. One of the reasons why Independence Day: Resurgence isn’t fun is that the plot has so many holes, it doesn’t lend itself to any sort of conversation. The big spaceship, for example, is so big “it has it’s own gravity” which means all ships and buildings and people all fall towards the spaceship. The buildings and things all stay up there, until it gets to LA at which point everything falls back down.

Wait, what?

It would’ve been so easy to say it was an alien gravity weapon (to explain why the effect only happens once) but noooo, they said it’s so massive it has it’s own gravity. It’s such a simple thing. Couldn’t one person just say, “Excuse me, could we just maybe tweak this a little?” Independence Day: Resurgence is filled to the brim with similar inconsistencies. Even Goldblum can’t salvage it, and I like Goldblum.

The only one interesting point of this film, is how internationally minded it is. Transformers and other computer graphic blockbusters destroyed the box offices in China. They did so well that there was a bunch of product placement for Chinese products in Transformers 4. In the case of Independence Day: Resurgence, one of the heroes is a representative from China and she speaks Chinese occasionally. Instead of Skype, to do video chatting, people use Tencent QQ (which is a Chinese chat program), and he drinks “moon milk” which is half covered with Chinese characters. I’m so used to being the target audience, it’s a neat, new experience to not be.

If you want graphics go play a video-game. If you want Independence Day, go watch the original. But, please, avoid this movie. If we all abstain maybe this train of bad-nostalgia fueled films will stop.