Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -


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.

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