Today I watched the news as Britain declared their “independence day”. I then went to the cinema to watch a movie about the whole world coming together, putting aside their petty grievances, and defeating a real threat to earth. No one can predict what will happen as we live through these interesting times, but I’m pretty sure I can predict that Independence Day: Resurgence won’t last long in cinemas.
I’m coming at this film with nostalgia goggles at coke bottle thickness. I was ten when I first saw it, at a time when nothing like it had been seen before. I’m sure many of my generation remember the absolute awe at seeing the White House destroyed in the promos. Could a movie even do that? When our dad installed a new sound system a few years later, we knew exactly which movie we wanted to test it with, because the sound of those ships coming overhead was seared into our brains. Thankfully, I wasn’t all that hyped for the sequel. Considering the too-late-sequels and reboots we’ve gotten over the years, absolutely nothing could get my hopes up.
I’m not going to whine about how this ruined the old film’s legacy, because it wasn’t offensively bad by any stretch. But there is really no way around the fact that the sequel fails to live up to the original. There were certainly moments I liked. There was some great design here and there. I had a few laughs not based on referencing old material, but it wasn’t enough. The movie doesn’t work as an Independence Day sequel, and it doesn’t work as a sci-fi destruction-porn movie.
What follows below has ALL the spoilers, because I want to explain exactly what I mean.