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Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Reviewed by on Jun 24, 2016
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s movie review of summer blockbuster Independence Day: Resurgence. Are the effects cool? Is it as exciting and funny as the original 1996 film?

By: Lynn Barker

Will Smith’s son Dylan and President Whitmore’s daughter Patricia, little kids in the 1996 film, are besties now having grown up together. She’s in love with Liam Hemsworth’s flying ace character Jake and the two guys hate each other. Hey, pretty good personal set-up for mind-blowing, end-of-the-planet action!

Jake on the way to his fighterJake on the way to his fighterCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Catching Up

It’s been twenty years since Earth banded together to kick alien invader butt. Now a united Earth has the Earth Space Defense system. We’ve used the alien technology to combine with our own to make sure we are safe if they come back. The Area 51 base is now defense H.Q. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is its head. Steven Hiller (the Will Smith Character in Independence Day (1996) has died test piloting and his step-son Dylan (Jessie T. Usher) is now the flying ace commanding The Legacy Squadron.

Earth Defense forces fire on alien fightersEarth Defense forces fire on alien fightersCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Presidential daughter Patricia Whitmore (Maika Monroe), a little kid in the first movie, is in love with bad boy Jake (Liam Hemsworth) who just had his wings clipped for risking Dylan’s life on a training mission. He’s now on the moon running a space tug along with his bestie Charlie (Travis Tope).  Poor President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) was driven mad by an alien mind meld in the first movie and has been “resting”. Poor wacky scientist Dr. Okun (Brent Spiner) has been in a coma.

Former President WhitmoreFormer President WhitmoreCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

New Attack

ESD Director David Levinson is in Africa and meets with old flame Dr. Catherine Marceaux (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and warlord Dikembe Umbutu (Deobia Opari) whose army had been fighting aliens left behind. Together they discover, whoops! The aliens sent out a distress call to their home planet. When a huge spherical ship arrives on the moon, Levinson thinks it doesn’t belong to the same alien race but the President (Sela Ward) has it blasted anyway. 

Destruction on a massive scaleDestruction on a massive scaleCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Gotta Get that Sphere

Against orders (only way he rolls), Jake takes a moon tug and picks up Levinson, Marceaux, Umbutu and a government flunkie and they go to the crash site to examine the remains. They find an undamaged smaller sphere and decide to take it to Area 51 for analysis. Meanwhile a ginormous mothership starts destroying half the planet by sucking up buildings and dropping them on….other countries! It begins drilling a hole in the middle of the ocean to harvest the heat of Earth's core which would end our planet.

David and Jake see an alien sphereDavid and Jake see an alien sphereCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Area 51 and the Truth

Upon the space tug's arrival at Area 51, Dr. Okun wakes up from his twenty-year coma and opens the smaller sphere which turns out to house an intelligent, all virtual race no longer using physical bodies. The female voice explains that it is from a planet once destroyed by the bad aliens. The ship we destroyed was a lifeboat meant to transport as many Earthers as possible to a refuge planet where a war against the aliens is being planned. Whoops!  More alien mind contact reveals to Whitmore that the aliens have a queen who controls their hive mind and she is coming to get the good guy alien sphere. Can we stop her? Can we save Earth’s core? Can we one day team up with good guy aliens to defeat the baddies?

David and Dr. Okun advise brassDavid and Dr. Okun advise brassCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer


Wrapping Up

Independence Day, the 1996 film, is one of my favorite popcorn movies so I really, really wanted to love this film. Don’t love it, don’t totally hate it. You go to a Roland Emmerich disaster film for bigtime effects and IDR has a ton of them… some executed better than others.  Independence Day also included fun character relationships and some great humor especially between Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith.

Dylan meets the PresidentDylan meets the PresidentCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

So glad Jeff Goldblum is back as David Levinson to toss out his fun little quips here and there. No Will, most say due to being asked to do this film with a father/son storyline when he had done one with his own son (the semi-bomb After Earth) and wasn’t interested. Also good for a hoot is Brent Spiner’s Dr. Okun who it turns out wasn’t dead but in a 20 year coma. He is still a wacky genius with some fun lines. In fact, he gets the last one in the entire movie. Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore isn’t in the film much but does get his heroic moment.

David Levinson with Dr. MarceauxDavid Levinson with Dr. MarceauxCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Considering that new characters are thrown together quickly, the younger actors do a decent job without much character development, Filling in the “hunk” blank are cute Liam Hemsworth and Jessie T. Usher who are enemies who become fast besties when the world destruction chips are down.

Dylan and Jake on the moon baseDylan and Jake on the moon baseCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

A subplot featuring Julian Levinson (Judd Hirsch), David’s dad from the first film, is sweet but totally unnecessary and ends up being shoehorned into a final battle sequence in a ludicrous, “no way” manner. Not saying Judd isn’t just as funny and good as in the 1996 movie.

Dylan tells his squadron what they'll faceDylan tells his squadron what they'll faceCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

I’d say the plot suffers from overstuffing and some serious illogic. Aliens want Earth’s molten core cuz they use it as a power source. They’ve sucked the core out of countless planets. Okay but hey, right here in our solar system are Jupiter, Mars, Venus and a crapload of big moons with cores….and nobody shooting back. Why not just go for those…unless they just want revenge for being driven away the first time? Also, if these new alien ships now have “cloaking devices” rendering them invisible, why not use that…. a lot… like on their fighter ships? Makes no sense.

The giant ship lands in the oceanThe giant ship lands in the oceanCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

If you are a fan of the original film (you probably saw on video or on TV), “getting the band back together”, thin new characters and love overkill disaster films, battle action and a few laughs, you will probably love the movie. We can go three stars. 

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Rating:3

ndependence Day: Resurgence Posterndependence Day: Resurgence PosterCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Independence Day: Resurgence is in theaters now! 

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