Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Alien Resurrection

Director Roland Emmerich’s sequel to his 1996 alien invasion blockbuster ‘Independence Day’ (or ‘ID4’) finally hits theaters 20 years later.  Does anyone care?  In light of the fact that the original earned over ten times its budget (although unadjusted for inflation), perhaps the only surprise is “what took it so long?”  Then again, Emmerich and his long-time collaborator Dean Devlin, best known for such disaster flicks as ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘2012’ as well as critically maligned disposable popcorn fare like ‘Stargate,’ ’10,000 BC,’ the 1998 ‘Godzilla’ and ‘White House Down,’ aren’t exactly known for sequels.
‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ takes place (surprise!) 20 years after the cataclysmic alien invasion which devastated earth (and blew up the White House, cool!) in the original “classic.”  Ultimately triumphant thanks to the courage and efforts of a handful of individuals (Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, etc.), earth has now established a network of defense satellites and outposts (including a moon base) to guard against any future invasion, with technology recovered from captured and presumably reverse-engineered alien weaponry.  When the distress call of alien prisoners reach a 3,000-miles wide Mothership, the stage is set for a renewed alien invasion that would make the first attempt look like a warm-up.
ID4:R is pretty much more of the same compared to the original with a bigger budget, better f/x, more bang-bang/explosions, less character development and an even less convincing plot, if we’re to believe it had one in the first place.  There is never any sense of danger or excitement; everything in ID4:R happens on the fly by the seat of the pants in just the nick of time.  It gets repetitive and predictable fast, and even the comic relief falls flat.  Michael Bay couldn’t have done any better if he were to remake ‘War of the Worlds’ by way of the ‘Transformers.’  Then why did I see it, you ask?  So I can give it the grade below and save you the time and money, of course.
Grade: D
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