Independence Day: Resurgence was crap. I know, I can feel your shock at that statement from here! Based on the incredible depth and believability of the first one, how could the second be such a failure? Alright, enough with the sarcasm, but the movie was lame. Even for a switch your brain off, popcorn-munching blockbuster, I went in with no expectations therefore I can’t complain about none of them having been met. But even still, I went in there cheerfully optimistic and it wasn’t until leaving the cinema when my friend commented, “That was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen,” that I couldn’t help but agree.
It wasn’t *terrible*. It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen and in fact was quite watchable. But it did suck, and once again it made me wonder how scripts of this quality even make it to the big screen.
The first Independence Day was actually quite a big thing. Released back in the dark ages (1996) where internet connectivity was nothing like it was today (hell, I don’t think we even really used it back then) – going to the cinema involved queuing for a ticket, then queuing to get into the cinema. None of this easy peasy buying tickets online first and having your phone scanned upon entry, you’d often line up outside the building and slowly snake your way in.
And with the first movie, there was excitement. Big blockbuster special FX movies were not as common as they are today. They were fewer and further between releases as those special FX took time and considerable costs to make, and when trailers for the first one started showing up, we had these massive alien ships hovering over Earth’s cities – and the iconic shot of the White House being blasted. The first movie was actually quite suspenseful before it became ridiculous. The alien ships hovered ominously – were they going to fire? Would they make contact?
Set two decades after the original, Resurgence had none of that. In fact, by the time the final solutions were being decided in the last ditched attempt to destroy the aliens, it felt like the movie was still only starting. The pacing was all over the shop and just like the original movie, it simply devolved into the ridiculous with practically every character from the original making an appearance, with half of them for WTF reasons. Even Will Smith made an appearance in framed picture form, evoking no emotion whatsoever.
To be honest I expected all of the above, as I said I had no expectations, but I was surprised by two things. Firstly, the FX were actually quite lame. The air battles between the fleet of modern Earth defence aircraft and the alien fighters was bargain basement at best. It was also amusing how little effort went into making the alien…alien. Here’s this giant ship, populated by these semi-squid like beings, and yet they still park their aircraft within their mothership like we do – complete with landing lights. They also open and close their main ships doors like a conventional hangar, whilst the squid-things inside are operating the ship from what is simply an airport control tower but with alien texturing. No originality here!
And finally the thing that really amused me was the inclusion of Hong Kong actress Angela Baby – also known as Angel Baby. I was reading an article about her recently, how her natural beauty was claimed to be of the unnatural variety, and she went through a whole myriad of tests to prove she was in fact natural! Anyhow – there was no reason whatsoever for her to be in this movie, let alone part of the ‘main group’ of pilots. From very early into the movie she appeared alongside one of the heroes, this lovely young girl with long, luxurious hair and eyes you could drown in and….WTF.
She had no reason whatsoever to be in this movie. We didn’t go into her backstory other than her being the daughter of the Moon base commander. She was only there for that long luxurious hair which she revealed from her flight helmet the moment she first saw her out of her fighter. Her English was bad, she offered basically nothing to the movie other than a vague love interest for one of the lesser characters and that was it. Why am I making mention of this? Because she was included for one reason – to make this movie sell tickets in China. And the sad thing is, it will. It will probably rake it in, like the recent and almost equally lame Warcraft. This is the first time I can recall seeing something so blatantly including a Chinese element for no other reason than to sell tickets in China, and god that is lame.
Another nod to China was the communication system between the moon and earth – powered by none other than QQ (which many people will be unfamiliar with – think Chinese MSN type software).
So anyway, the final verdict on Independence Day: Resurgence? Avoid, but thank GOD for President Pullman.