INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
Director: Roland Emmerich (White House Down) Starring : Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Judd Hirsch, Angelababy, Brent Spiner, Sela Ward.
IT has been 20 long years since the original Independence Day, a guilty-pleasure destructo-fest that made a star of Will Smith and made squillions at the box office.
At the time of release, it felt like a one-of-a-kind blockbuster. Back then, blowing the White House to bits was a big deal.
Oh, and its Oscar-winning special effects, which brought all this lunacy to life, were truly game-changing.
Now the time has come for a sequel, and no one will be surprised that everything Independence Day: Resurgence has to offer is decidedly old hat. A crushed, crumpled old hat.
Though the special effects are as arrestingly awesome as before – how could any movie that shows one city (Kuala Lumpur) being dropped on another (London) not deliver as a visual spectacle? – all other factors in play run the gamut from truly awful to barely average.
Of course, no one will be attending Resurgence in hope of exploring brave new storytelling frontiers, so let’s not bother assigning too much blame to what passes for a plot.
The same aliens who were defeated two decades ago have returned for a rematch. The visitors also have a new mothership from which to launch their attacks: a sinister black disc with a diameter measuring an Atlantic Ocean-covering 5000km.
So the smart money should be on the away team, right? Wrong.
A resistance movement quickly comes together to answer the call to arms. The planet’s foremost alien engagement expert David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) thinks a little caution would go a long way, but his advice falls on deaf ears.
Meanwhile, the planet’s best fighter-pilot-astronauts (led by Liam Hemsworth) become mankind’s best hope of saving the day while the aliens start blasting major cities off the map.
As an excuse for much mindless action, this should be an efficient enough blueprint to deliver what viewers are after.
But Resurgence inexplicably overcomplicates a simple entertainment equation by stuffing too many unnecessary old and new characters into all available gaps.
Without a true star of Will Smith’s calibre to keep the audience onside, it keeps drifting off-topic so it can justify the presence of all those space-wasting talking heads.