Independence Day Resurgence
Director: Roland Emmerich
Actors: Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth
Obviously aiming to replicate the ginormous success of his 1996 original, mayhem-meister Roland Emmerich raises the ante for another round of landmarks-obliterating escapism.
Twenty years after the first alien invasion, the hostile extraterrestrial forces return with a larger armada and an even deadlier agenda.
Have no fear, though. A band of brave men (Goldblum-Hemsworth) and women (Maika Monroe-Charlotte Gainsbourg) are on hand to lead the counter-attack to stave off our peaceful planet’s imminent annihilation.
The continuing dearth of original script ideas has led Hollywood honchos to greenlight sequels, spin-offs and reboots with greater frequency, never mind if several of them have underperformed at the box office.
In this case, given the advances in digital technology during the intervening two decades, the special effects in IDay-Resurgence could have been spiffier. The cataclysmic conflagrations are appropriately loud and over-the-top but even the post-conversion 3D tweak fails to deliver on clarity.
Notably absent from this belated second outing is Will Smith, whose film career was launched following his turn as the gung-ho fighter pilot in the original. Following in the footsteps of the superstar, newcomer Jessie Usher strives to live up to the legacy of his braveheart dad who, we are informed, was killed in an earlier skirmish.
The rest of the multi-ethnic cast comprises the Hong Kong model Angelababy (in an obvious plug into the lucrative Chinese market) and Deobia Oparei, as a vengeful African warlord.
With the exception of the ever-reliable Jeff Goldblum, the other performers are upstaged by the pyrotechnics.
Ultimately this underwhelming son-et-lumiere spectacle doesn’t even qualify as dumb fun.
Curiously ...Resurgence has been globally released more than a week prior to America’s Independence Day. Go figure.