Choppy wave of nostalgia
Back in the summer of 1996, I had more than a few nervous glances at the sky whenever I saw any weirdly shaped clouds or strange lights.
The reason? My trip to see alien invasion blockbuster Independence Day at the cinema; make no mistake about it, the thengroundbreaking special effects that laid waste to some of America’s most famous landmarks convinced me our planet could come under attack from not-so-little green men.
Cheesy, overblown and silly it may have been, but Independence Day remains one of the most unabashedly entertaining, fondly remembered summer popcorn flicks of all time.
A sequel was often mooted but surprisingly, especially given the multitude of follow-ups churned out over the last couple of decades, it has taken 20 years for Resurgence to find its way into multiplexes.
This time the aliens are back and more dangerous and deadly than ever as they use even greater technology to once again try and conquer Earth.
Among those standing in their way is the returning David Levinson ( Jeff Goldblum), who heads up mankind’s space defences, and pilots Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Dylan Hiller ( Jessie T. Usher).
Nostalgia is one of cinema’s newest trends and while Resurgence falls short of the giddy joys and coherent thrills and spills of Jurassic World, there are enough crowd-pleasing moments to keep fans of the original satisfied.
Roland Emmerich is back behind the camera and anyone who thought the 60-year-old German may have mellowed over time, in terms of his desire to see major cities take a pounding, is way off the mark.
It’s not just the United States that come under fire this time, with London and Beijing both seeing better days – as David says of the aliens, in one of the film’s best lines given away in the trailer, “They like to get the landmarks!”
Remarkably, five writers – including Emmerich – are credited on the screenplay and they’ve managed to create a story even more bonkers than the original.
Aping their own previous work and about a billion other sci-fi outings, the scripting squad certainly won’t win any prizes for originality, and unsuccessfully try to cram in more characters than your average Marvel movie.
Goldblum is as endearing as ever and Bill Pullman (President Whitmore) and Brent Spiner (Dr Okun) make welcome returns.
Not back on board, though, is Will Smith – whose Captain Hiller we’re told perished piloting alien tech – and it’s a void cast newbies Hemsworth, Usher and Maika Monroe (Patricia) fail to capably fill.
For every dodgy alien “Queen”, there’s a knowing quip or a 3000 mile-wide spaceship causing havoc as Resurgence rarely descends into dullness.
To once again quote Goldblum, it’s “definitely bigger than the last one” – but unlikely to stand the test of time like its predecessor.
Out of this world Goldblum and Hemsworth fight back