Main cast: Liam Hemsworth (Jake Morrison), Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Bill Pullman (Thomas J Whitmore), Maika Monroe (Patricia Whitmore), Jessie Usher (Dylan Dubrow-Hiller), Travis Tope (Charlie Ritter), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Dr Catherine Marceaux), Deobia Oparei (Dikembe Umbutu), Nicolas Wright (Floyd Rosenberg), Brent Spiner (Dr Brakish Okun), Angelababy (Rain Lao), Judd Hirsch (Julius Levinson), William Fichtner (US General Joshua Adams), and Sela Ward (President Elizabeth Lanford)
Director: Roland Emmerich
If you think Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the dumbest movie this year, wait until you behold the grotesque stupidity that is Independence Day 2: Resurgence. The first movie came out in 1996, long before this website even came to be, and while I do not remember specifics about that movie, I recall it being a mildly entertaining explosions-and-action movie made palatable by a cast that has good chemistry. The America-is-the-world aspect of that movie was off-putting, though. This movie, finally released 20 years after the first movie, only takes the worst of that first movie, amplify that crap by a thousand, and leave behind all that was good to end up with this putrid mess.
Well, yes, the aliens are back. Ten years ago, when the original team destroyed the aliens, one of their ships sent a distress call to the rest of the Z-rated Xenomorph-wannabes in space, and finally, the second wave is back, bigger than ever. Will Smith’s character was killed off in the years before this movie starts, so this time around, it’s just Thomas Whitmore and David Levinson with the “new generation” team of Patricia, Thomas’s daughter all grown up, her fiancé Jake, and the late Captain Steven Hiller’s grandson all grown up Dylan along with Thomas’s best friend Charlie and token “China, come watch this movie because we have Angelababy among the cast” Asian chick Rain Lao coming together to face the aliens. For about two hours, we witness a race between the Americans plus some token minority folks and the Xenomorphs’ short bus castoffs to see which race is the dumbest wastes of space ever.
Amusingly enough, this movie tries very hard to tick off the diversity list. Look, two black guys! An Asian chick! A gay dude! A female president! Alas, all these things are just superficial – stereotypes still reign at the end of the day, and it’s a symptom of how the script strips off all semblance of humanity in the bloated cast and reduce them into barely one-dimensional ciphers. Jake is the jock, who has a smirk permanently plastered on his face (he’s supposed to be cocky, you see?) even in the most inappropriate context. Patricia is basically the Girlfriend and the Emotional Crybaby despite the movie informing me that she is supposedly a talented pilot. Dylan is basically the Stoic Black Dude who Leads the Team (but Lets the White Guy Upstage Him Anyway). Thomas Whitmore is the Crazy Old Man who is only good for delivering awkwardly inserted “motivational speeches” that are full of cringe matter. And so forth – everyone here is just a stereotype, right down to the fact that, in the end, once again America saves the world. As a result, when people die and sad music swells in the background to get me to feel sorry for them, I can only roll up my eyes and snort. Why should I care? The people on the screen are far less well-drawn than the entire cast of a Super Mario Bros game.
The script is also indescribably stupid. A giant white billiard ball is humanity’s savior against the aliens… but oops, it seems to have forgotten how to defend itself against the aliens, despite knowing all the ways to destroy those things. Stupid billiard ball.
The aliens drag the idiot pilots into their mothership, and then can’t even kill those losers despite outnumbering them, and worse, the defenses inside the mothership seem shockingly flimsy. Why draw those losers in when they seem to have no intention of killing them right away? Stupid aliens.
The aliens are going to wipe out humanity in four minutes, but hey, let’s send all the forces and the Queen (whose death would mean a convenient recalling of the rest of the alien troops back to space) down into the battle ground to kill the billiard ball… which would be left defenseless anyway once all life is wiped out on the planet. Four minutes! God, is it too hard to wait that long? Stupid, stupid aliens.
And don’t get me started about how, even when the Queen is dead, those aliens could have still stomped the rear ends out of the remaining human population left on Earth and still win, but, no, they have go back all the way to who knows how far across the galaxy to recoup, before presumably traveling all the way here again to finish off what they couldn’t finish. Stupid, stupid, stupid aliens.
On the humans’ side, gee, using alien spacecrafts to attack those aliens, and no one foresee that the aliens can just take over the control of those ships? Shocking. There is a giant fight between the aliens and the last vestiges of the US military in Area 51… and look, nobody notices until the last minute that a bus has charged into the area! Shocking indeed. The US President and her crew are in a safe bunker… far away from the military, who apparently didn’t bother sparing much ammo or manpower to protect them. Shock me with a cattle prod and end my misery, please. We also have explosions that do not seem to affect people who are not even wearing protective gear a distance away from those explosions, and how in a close-quarter shootout, the non-straight character in the room is the only human that dies.
While I am not the person who screams in outrage when a gay or female character bites the dust, it is very noticeable how this movie makes only superficial nods to diversity while reinforcing antiquated tropes like killing off the gays, keeping women to the sidelines or just tagging along while the boys play, and never letting any non-white characters outshine the white ones. They should have just stopped pretending to pander to the political correctness police, because this pretense stands out like a sore thumb.
Oh, and I have a hard time deciding which of the Hemsworth brother resembles a cardboard cutout more when it comes to “acting talent”. I think Liam Hemsworth is a bit cuter, though.
Anyway, don’t watch this movie on screen. I’d say don’t watch it at all, but if you really want to, wait for cheaper alternatives, such as Netflix or something, instead of paying more just to have your brain viciously violated by this really, really crappy movie.