‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Review Revue: Critics Roundly Pan Sequel
Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to the original alien invasion blockbuster released 20 years ago, hit theaters last night (June 23). In a summer that's been glutted with sequels that have drawn huge numbers for few and disappointing returns for most, Twentieth Century Fox is surely hoping for Captain America: Civil War numbers — not the abysmal ticket sales of an Alice: Through the Looking Glass. THR reports it made $4 million overnight and it just may fill theaters to capacity by Sunday, though the early reviews sure won't get them in the door.
To be clear: I haven't seen ID: Resurgence, and I likely won't unless I catch it on an airplane sometime. Roland Emmerich doesn't, in my opinion, make the best movies (I do love Stargate from 1994, though I'll skip Emmerich's announced remake of his own original). I love action movies; I find his hollow. Even back in 1996, when I saw Independence Day in a New York City theater with my dad on the Fourth of July, I felt the nascent pangs of my inner film critic.
"I could watch Will Smith do this all day and that Area 51 reveal was cool and all, but this more hollow than it wants me to think it is," I thought back then. I also would've called it "jingoistic," had I known that word at the time. Nevertheless, Independence Day holds a tender and nostalgic place in many moviegoer's hearts, and they may trot off to the cineplex based on those time-fuzzed memories alone. But evidently, plenty of credits wouldn't recommend it.
"Resurgence is likely to spur more eye-drooping than popping," writes Manohla Dargis of the New York Times. Calling the script "abysmal" (and the trailer's groaners did indicate as much), Dargis says "five writers actually put their names on the script, including Mr. Emmerich and his longtime collaborator Dean Devlin, and the results are predictably predictable if rarely entertainingly risible, with swaths of exposition and dialogue that sounds like ads ('one people, one world').
Kurt Loder echoes several critics' complaints that returning cast members like Jeff Goldblum and Vivica Fox mainly serve to introduce the franchise's fresh new faces: "Unfortunately, the new actors aren't especially compelling—their characters are generic, and they're boxed in by the sprawling plot, in which too much stuff is happening to too many people in too many places, and very little of it is interesting."
Meanwhile, Matt Singer at our sister site ScreenCrush says Resurgence is "mostly just bad in ways that make you wish you hadn’t wasted your money or your time." Wired's Brian Raftery's review title sums up his take: "Sorry Gang. But Independence Day: Resurgence Is Really Bad." This sentiment is shared by io9, Flavorwire (who suggests it's not even bad enough to be campy fun) and The Atlantic, among others. Yikes.
Are you planning to pony up for Resurgence, despite the many advance warnings? Did you already see it and love it? Let us know.
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