Why make a sequel to Roland Emmerich's Independence Day? Critics can't quite come up with an answer that doesn't include dollar signs. The concept of Independence Day: Resurgence: Humans have been preparing for a repeat war with aliens for 20 years—but so have the aliens. Here's what critics are saying:
- Much of the original cast returns but "[Will] Smith is gone and so are any of the ripe pleasures of Emmerich's campy excess, cheesy dialogue and all," Peter Howell writes at the Toronto Star. If the filmmakers wanted audiences to actually care if the planet is destroyed, they failed, he adds. They "spend more time engaging in flatulent melodrama in this way late and very stupid sci-fi sequel than they do kicking alien ass."
- It's a darker film than the original, writes Luke Buckmaster at the Daily Review, "but the humor is still present, if less daffy," thanks in part to Jeff Goldblum. In what is presumably a compliment, he notes Liam Hemsworth comes across "as a more sedate version of a young Tom Cruise" but there's "nobody to match Will Smith's cigar-chomping rascal." His parting words: "Keep expectations low, and Goldblum appreciation levels high."
- "If your witty asides aren't witty, and your digital effects look like so much else you've seen the last few years, and your editing juggles the various plotlines so ineptly ... then you have a movie like this one," writes Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune. He admits he's a "half-mad defender of some of Emmerich's cheesiest cheese," but this is "seriously lousy."
- Helen O'Hara essentially repeats all of the above in her review. But she does find one thing to admire. Emmerich produces "something exhilarating" and shows why he's known as the "Master of Disaster," she writes at GQ. "He builds tension before the attack, and then unleashes devastation on a far greater level than you imagined, better than almost all his imitators."
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