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Resurgence is a Regurgence

Thank you Independence Day Resurgence for helping us invent a new word — regurgence.

The definition is “an odious regurgitation operating under the pretense of originality.”

With a budget of $165M, it is perplexing that virtually no money was allocated to hire a competent writing team or even on seducing Will Smith to return and potentially save the story.

Does Hollywood really think so little of the average movie-going patron that important details such as plot, character development and dialogue now take a back seat to CGI explosions and gimmickry?

Unlike in 1996 when the first Independence Day wowed us with its effects, it is now 2016 and we are all quite used to CGI.

It’s time you got back to the business of good, old-fashioned story telling.

The story (as it is) begins in a Utopian 2016 two decades since the last Independence Day film ended. Since the failed alien invasion, all nations of the Earth have banded together, created global harmony and harnessed the technology they found on the alien ships that crashed.

So far, so good.

However, those darned magma-sucking aliens are coming back and they won’t be satisfied until they’ve taken our molten core to fuel their 3,500-mile wide mother ship.

For fans of the original Independence Day, you will be happy to see some characters from the previous film.

Jeff Goldblum returns as Dr. David Levinson, the (oh, so smart) scientist who saved the day the first time and has now been promoted to head of global alien invasion security.

Bill Pullman returns as the former president of the United States (now a shell of his former robust self and plagued with visions of another alien return).

Judd Hirsch returns as Julius Levinson, David’s father, who has been making the senior citizen home round hawking his book, How I Saved The World, and Brent Spiner returns as the quirky scientist, Dr. Brakish Okun, from Area 51 who has been in a coma for the last 20 years.

No action-packed blockbuster would be complete without a bandy crew of 20 somethings loaded with capped teeth and testosterone who takes themselves far too seriously.

This crew is just itching to go kick some alien butt back to where the sun don’t shine and they all have the gritted perfect teeth to do it. 

Liam Hemsworth plays bad boy pilot Jake Morrison who was orphaned in the first alien attack. Travis Tope plays Charlie Miller, Liam’s long time childhood friend and less confident fighter pilot.

Jessie T. Usher plays Dylan Hiller (the deceased Will Smith’s character’s step-son) who is now head of the elite fighter squadron mysteriously stationed on the moon.

Maika Monroe plays Patricia Whitmore, president’s daughter, fighter pilot and love interest of bad boy Morrison.

And Chinese pop star Angelababy plays expert fighter pilot Rain Lao. OK. Seems legit?

Five writers are credited with the screenplay, which makes you wonder if they discussed or even consulted with each other during the writing process.

The dialogue is insultingly simple and so rife with clichés that it could have been written by a group of eighth graders online playing Warcraft.

There is an assumption that when a story is “science fiction” that any semblance of logic can go out the window. Science fiction is simply another set to tell a story and things do still need to make sense for us to willingly follow and believe.

There are so many things in this movie that defy common sense it becomes more than just a distraction, it’s downright annoying. None of us are rocket scientists, but wouldn’t a ship the size of the Atlantic Ocean landing on the Earth destroy the planet? 

Resurgence is a rambling and meandering CGI slugfest, but I did find one interesting thing in this film: the notion of a utopian future based on a common alien enemy.

The premise that in the face of global annihilation leaders could set aside their petty differences, unite and work together to save the human race is perhaps the most compelling idea that is presented in this movie.

While this lofty ideal is never discussed or explored after the beginning of the film, in the interest of not writing an entirely negative review, it did set a positive tone that is worth mentioning.

Everything about this Independence Day is bigger than the original. The explosions are bigger, the cast is bigger, the loss of human life is bigger, even the alien ship is bigger.

In this case, bigger isn’t better. It’s just bad.

I give this film 1 out of 5 hearts.

 



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About the Author

Kim Foreman-Rhindress is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and London Western Conservatory of music for piano and voice. 

Kim has been performing in theatre and film for over 30 years in Canada, NYC, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. She has written several plays which have been produced in Canada and the U.S., and is the founder of Kelowna Voice Lab - helping people find their voice, be it singing or acting. 

A working musician, she performs regularly in Kelowna with her husband, Jim Rhindress, in an acoustic duo Smitten, and with her vintage trio Kitsch 'n Sync.  



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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