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Is it worth going to see Independence Day Resurgence?

Independence Day

Independence Day: Resurgence | Dir: Roland Emmerich | MA | Opened Thursday June 23rd | ★ ★ 

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It’s been 20 years since the original Independence Day destroyed the box office and true to form, director Roland Emmerich serves up a tried and tested recipe for popcorn cinema.

Featuring many scenes of global destruction Emmerich mines his own rich history of disaster porn to put on a dazzling digital display of the end of the world as we know it…again.

After exploring multiple doomsday themes in his previous films (The Day After Tomorrow, 2015, Stargate) the director seems to have hit an impasse as to how the world could possibly go down in flames this time.

With a self-referencing revenance that borders on plagiarism Independence Day: Resurgence labors under the weight of the films that preceded it and never rises above being a mash-up of all that came and ended before it.

That said there is fun to be had here. Watching the Burj tower defy gravity and smash into central London as the alien invaders decimate most of the western world is fine family fun.

The cast includes stars of the original film, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, who cede ground to younger, hotter models in the shape of Liam Hemsworth and Maika Monroe, who aren’t given much to work with dialogue wise as the CGI action takes precedence.

Notably absent is Will Smith whose $50 million asking price for his services was deemed too expensive to make the cut, but his cocky comedic arrogance might have bolstered a sagging franchise.

Even a much lauded inclusion of a gay character into the ensemble seems tokenistic considering Emmerich himself is an openly gay filmmaker.

As far as plot goes, the central premise of the original film was based on the oedipal notion that firing a missile into the mother ship will solve all of “mankind’s” problems and it is repeated here, with a diminished return.

With a budget close to $200 million, this movie looks amazing but succeeds in producing spectacle over substance and suffer for it. What could have been two hours of guilty pleasure became more like 120 minutes of waiting for the world to just end already.

Clint Little

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