Movie: Independence Day: Resurgence
My Rating: 5 bombs
I don’t know where to start with this treasure. I don’t even know to approach it. To do that, I’d need to know whether the filmmakers thought they were making a badass sequel to the smash hit from 1996, whether they were cynically phoning it in, or whether they were in on the joke of how terrible this movie is. It almost doesn’t matter which scenario we’re dealing with, because the result is such an amazing stinker that it’s very entertaining despite itself. A part of me hopes the studio and director were dead serious about this movie and really thought they had created an amazing, patriotic, action thriller. But, it really could go either way.
The aliens are back. They didn’t take too kindly to being shot down and chased away in 1996, so now they’ve got a real chip on their shoulders. They’ve got their eye on Earth’s molten core—you know, for fuel. That’s what spaceships run on, right? Hot lava? But, they’d be happy to mow down all the humans they encounter out of spite. But, that’s not really what this movie is about. This movie was made to throw as many cameos, old references, sappy heroic moments, comically tragic losses, and gag-inducing romantic reunions as they could fit into a feature length film. Nothing was too obscure or too corny to leave out. And, it’s an encyclopedia of formulaic storytelling. In fact, the movie tries to cram so many of these absurd moments into the story that the whole thing has the strangest pacing. Every story element is rushed and only touched upon superficially. We barely have enough time to be introduced to a new character before they’re being pinned with a medal of honor, and then receiving a full military funeral. It’s very discombobulating. I found myself audibly groaning ad gasping in disbelief at the filmmaking, and no one else watching it with me cared, because they were all doing the same thing too.
It’s really impossible to capture the absurdity of this movie in words. It might have something to do with the fact that it’s trying to recapture nostalgia for 1996, a time before we had really embraced irony as a country, without really updating it for modern sensibilities. But, it could just be lazy filmmaking. I think you almost have to just watch it for yourself to understand what I’m talking about. And, it’d be worth it too. The movie is so sensationally bad that you’ll find yourself laughing and yelling at the screen the whole time. And, it’s even more fun with a group of friends. Even though I suspect that this movie wasn’t made to be laughed at, it’s one of the most perfect movies to do that with—definitely worth all the forehead slapping you’ll be doing.