Independence Day: Resurgence is a 2016 American science fiction action disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods, and James Vanderbilt. It is the sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day and stars an ensemble cast featuring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Travis Tope, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner and Sela Ward.
The film is set twenty years after the events of the first film. Since then, the United Nations have collaborated on the Earth Space Defense (ESD), an international military defense and research organization, and developed hybrid technology reverse-engineered from the invaders' in anticipation that they would return. When the returning aliens again attack Earth with an advanced and unprecedented force during the twentieth anniversary of humanity's victory against them on July 4, a new generation of defenders from the ESD joins forces with the surviving protagonists from the first film to participate in a battle to save the world from annihilation. In addition, humanity begin to explore their extraterrestrial adversary's history and motives.
Emmerich had considered an Independence Day sequel since 2002, with 20th Century Fox only greenlighting the project in 2014: negotiations had been carried out for it since 2011, when Will Smith was turned down due to his demand of $50 million to star in two sequels that were planned to film back-to-back. Principal photography rolled from April to August 2015, primarily in New Mexico while also returning to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah which served as a location in the original. Independence Day: Resurgence was released by in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D in the United States on June 24, 2016 to generally negative reviews from critics, who found the plot convoluted and action sequences overblown, though some praised its overall humor. The film grossed $389.7 million worldwide against its $165 million production budget (note that marketing and distribution cost for a blockbuster movie is usually at least the cost of making the movie itself, and the studio only gets around 50% of the gross domestically and 30% internationally: in other words, the movie only actually made about $137.5 million for the studio at the box office, but conservatively cost about $330 million to make and market) and was considered a box office disappointment by analysts.
As the Fourth of July nears, satellite engineer David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) investigates a 3,000-mile-wide mother ship that's approaching Earth. Fortunately, 20 years earlier, nations across the world started to use recovered extraterrestrial technology to develop an immense defense program. When the alien invaders attack with unprecedented force, the U.S. president, teams of scientists and brave fighter pilots spring into action to save the planet from a seemingly invincible enemy.
Why It Sucks
- By lacking the approachable nature of the original and instead focusing on the science fiction trappings, it's harder to care about the plot and characters.
- It is a rehash of the first one.
- It panders to China and Chinese audiences by including popular Hong Kong singer Angelababy as Rain Lao (a fighter pilot), the product placement of Moon Milk and QQ (a messaging service that is popular in its homeland).
- No Will Smith (aside from a cardboard cutout in the background in one shot), and the actor playing his son lacks his screen presence.
- Horrible soundtrack.
- Some characters from the original are forgotten (Russell Casse's family) or brought back just to die (Will Smith's widow).
- Bringing Brent Spiner back even though his character is pretty annoying. (the original film also made unclear whether he survived)
- This was the last film that Robert Loggia starred in and he does nothing in the film except get up and wave in a crowd scene.
- Too much time is spent attempting to set up a sequel rather than proceeding with the plot.
- The scenes with cities being destroyed by tidal waves and the gravity field of the giga-ship lack the same impact as the city-destroying energy blasts from the first film.
- The alien Queen failing to realise that destroying the entire planet her target is on will also destroy her target is kind of stupid. Her decision to start chasing a schoolbus around the desert on foot is rather more so.
- Lazy and contrived ending: it turns out the colossal giga-ship (which realistically would have ended life on Earth just by landing on it) is set up so that if the alien Queen dies, it simply leaves. Literally everything the Queen did after her ship arrived was unnecessary and did nothing but give the humans chances to beat her.
- The comedy is actually kind of funny.
- The action sequences are pretty cool.
- It knows not to take itself seriously.
- Some of the world building is inspired.
- Adding another alien species (Sphere) brings some kind of originality.
- The African militia is an interesting and badass addition.
- All the human characters are likeable.
- Good performances from Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum.
Independence Day: Resurgence received negative reviews from critics, audiences and fans. The film currently holds a 30% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 4.3 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads " It's undeniably visually impressive, but like its predecessor, Independence Day: Resurgence lacks enough emotional heft to support its end-of-the-world narrative stakes." Film critic Colin Covert of Minneapolis Star Tribune awarded the film a 1.5 out of 4 stars and described the film as a "dull, brainless sequel, representing how sadly major studio film quality has declined in the intervening two decades."
Independence Day: Resurgence opened at #2 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $41,039,944. It would later make a domestic gross of $103,144,286. The film made $286,537,649 in foreign sales. Overall, it made a worldwide gross of $389,681,935. Despite the film making a profit, it was deemed a box office disappointment (mentioned earlier).
Awards and nominations
Independence Day: Resurgence was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, but lost to Hillary's America: The Secret of the Democratic Party.
- When writer Dean Devlin was asked if there was going to be a third Independence Day film, he answered with, "I don’t know. I don’t know. Currently, I personally have no plans on doing another one."