I was far too young when Independence Day was released in 1996 to realize its massive success. Produced on a budget of $75 million and grossing a whopping $817.4 million, it became a cultural phenomenon. Yet at the time Hollywood hadn’t fully shifted towards their “sequelitis” era, so a sequel wasn’t already in production a week after the first one was released.

No, it took twenty years to get a sequel out—and I’d certainly hate to be that one fan who’s been anxiously waiting for what is inevitably a mess.

Director Roland Emmerich is a firm believer that bigger always means better. Roland Emmerich also has hardly released a “good” movie since The Patriot in 2000 unless you’re a major fan of 10,000 BC, 2012, or Anonymous. Even then, his greatest film is the original Independence Day but it’s a movie that has aged about just as well as Obama has in office—in other words, it shows its age.

So was there a need for another Independence Day? No, I really don’t think so. But I tried to remain optimistic, despite my better judgement, and I was still immensely disappointed.

Not only does Independence Day: Resurgence shy in comparison to its predecessor, it makes the first one seem close to a masterpiece despite its dated CGI and humor.

I mean where do we even begin with this thing? Not only is the plot preposterous (yeah, I know it’s supposed to be silly and over-the-top) but come on. A 3,000-mile-wide space ships shows up, essentially out of nowhere, and lands on earth. You heard me, 3,000 miles. So we got this ship that lands on Earth, and nobody really seems to make as big of a deal out of it as they should be. This might be because the film is so full of useless characters that Emmerich tries to juggle, yet the majority of them are simply boring.

With the returns of Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, who both seem to be happy just to be part of a huge movie again, it’s like Emmerich is trying to milk a non-existent element of nostalgia. Have people really been counting down the days for this sequel like they would with something like Finding Nemo? It doesn’t work, however, and it can be easily seen that the two actors are just going through the motions.

Toss in some younger actors like Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher, Maika Monroe, and Nicolas Wright and one would hope that they would add some much needed energy. But they don’t…because they can hardly carry this mammoth on their shoulders. A lot of that is not their fault, though, as the script is just a hodge-podge of zany moments that really shouldn’t have anything to do with the movie and certain moments that are far too over-the-top for their own good. 

It’s very rare for me to get dozy in a movie, and if I ever do find myself getting a little sleepy I know that what I’m watching just isn’t any good. Unfortunately I caught myself nodding off twice, and I probably should’ve just stayed asleep: my dreams would have been far more entertaining than this nonsense. 

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