Twenty years after the Earth narrowly avoided being stomped by goopy Alien Overlords, a new wave arrives. And, boy, are they ever cheesed. The luster may be off of the original Independence Day, but it still has its virtues, most notably an ominous slow build of a first act and a rather charming dorky sincerity. The sequel, unfortunately, can’t spare the time for either of these, being too busy cramming together even bigger space ships, a slew of new characters granted one personality facet each, and returning cast members displaying extremely variable levels of enthusiasm. (For the record: not enough Bill Pullman, just enough Judd Hirsch, waaaay too much Brent Spiner.) For those with fond memories of the first, this isn’t a complete loss: Director Roland Emmerich has a tactile knack for large-scale carnage that eludes most of the Michael Bay generation (the rings of Saturn getting casually pulled out of alignment is a nice touch), and Jeff Goldblum seems to be having fun, at least. That said, this is enough. The promise of another sequel delivered in the final frames feels an awful lot like a threat.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Producer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, Ute Emmerich, Larry Franco and Carsten Lorenz
Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher, Travis Tope, Judd Hirsch, Charlotte Gainsbourg, William Fichtner, Angelababy, Nicolas Wright, Deobia Oparei, Joey King, John Storey, Brent Spiner, Sela Ward, Vivica Fox, Chin Han and Robert Loggia
Independence Day: Resurgence