Independence Day: Resurgence

(M) Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman

It has been two decades since the original Independence Day‘s invasion of planet earth didn’t go so well for the interstellar force trying to take us over. That loss has not been forgotten by these galactic intruders, though. On earth, plenty of good has come from their initial attack, with the world’s population coming together to prepare for the alien’s inevitable reprisal. All of earth has taken advantage of access to the weaponry that was left behind by the retreating invaders and they are confident of being able to thwart any potential future attack. When the time finally arrives for the people of Earth to feel the vengeful repercussions of their actions, will it actually turn out that the alien throng has returned for some other reason?

Independence Day: Resurgence is another nostalgic romp that goes into the category of guilty-pleasure. With Hollywood recently striving to strike gold with a multitude of older franchises (think Star Wars and Jurassic Park), this outing goes into the deserving league of true ’90s throwback. It allows earlier film-going generations to share the joys of the cheesiest of cinematic adventures, with the newer generations of cinematic fans.

Over the past 20 years, the Independence Day package has not changed. The scripting continues to be humorous, but cringe-worthy; the plot continues to be unbelievable; and the special effects cover a multitude of many sins, assisting with delivering a package of enjoyable amusement.  What truly helps to make this sequel work better than so many other apocalyptic journeys is that everyone on-screen seems to be in on the film’s ludicrous intentions. No one can be accused of taking things too seriously except, possibly, the CGI team.

Most of the original cast returns (except for Will Smith) and it’s good to see them back on the screen, amid the cheesy dialogue and alien invaders. Director Roland Emmerich once again sits at the helm of this adventure and does masterful work (using the term lightly) at balancing the heritage of the former blockbuster with enough new elements to make the formula work, again. Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park), Bill Pullman (While You Were Sleeping) and Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation) provide the nostalgic touch needed for fans of the original Independence Day. These blasts from the past manage to apply their experiences from within the first film, to the next generation that is preparing for inevitable future attacks during Resurgence. While they are new entries in this franchise, Jessie T. Usher (When the Game Stands Tall), Travis Tope (Men, Women and Children), and Australian star Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) provide the comedic touch and bravado that Will Smith brought to the first chapter.

Emmerich manages to incorporate two key elements which make it fly above other failed reboots. He has a knack for knowing how far to take the intentionally sophomoric dialogue by allowing the cast to have fun with each line. Also, he knows that the weakness of script can be hidden among amazing special effects. In this outing, they do a wonderful job of providing the perfect place for the weaker components of the writing to hide.

This seasoned director not only manages to pull these elements off, he also helps the audience to remember that sometimes they can merely go to the cinema to be entertained and taken to new places of imagination and disbelief. Independence Day: Resurgence is far from being great cinema, but it doesn’t seem to be shooting for that. Instead, if you adjust expectations so they are set for a shamelessly ridiculous joyride, you won’t be disappointed with this spectacular sequel.

 What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?

Does God laugh?  There are passages in the Bible that show that God does laugh. This is where we should go to consider the answer to this question, but one does not have to look too far past His creation to see that laughter is part of life. Laughter, humour and joy can be credited to the creator. So, it is good to laugh, because it is a gift from God.

  1. Are we allowed to laugh? (Genesis 21:6, Proverbs 17:22, Psalm 126:2)
  2. What does the Bible say about war?  (Psalm 144:1,Ecclesiastes 3:8)
  3. What does the Bible have to say about peace? (Matthew 5:9, John 18:36)

Russell Matthews

Russell loves film and enjoys engaging in discussions about the latest cinema offerings and then connecting this with the Gospel. He has worked for City Bible Forum for over 10 years, is a reviewer for Insights Magazine and Entertainment Fuse and has a blog called Russelling Reviews. He moderates events for Reel Dialogue which connect the film industry with the general public.