‘Independence Day: Resurgence’
Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum
2 (out of 5) Globes
A sequel that plays like a remake that’s also a preview for a threequel, “Independence Day: Resurgence” lugs the super-blockbuster that started them all into the multiplex dystopia it helped create. Twenty years ago it was kosher to make a one-off spectacle. Now the original has been reworked so it’s a mere installment without a real ending. Logic is even thinner on the ground than in a predecessor in which an alien superspecies was defeated with a computer virus uploaded over AOL. And naturally there’s a lot of gratuitous, quizzical sops to China, who Hollywood now realizes like our craptaculars more than we do.
It also plays it safe before threatening a very different next movie that this one should have been in the first place. But before “Independence Day: Nonsense” or whatever, we check back in with the world post-aborted alien attack. To viewers in grim 2016 — particularly in the wake of Brexit and our nation’s thousandth gun massacre — it’s ceaselessly depressing: having canceled the apocalypse, this alternate paradise is a world with no armed conflicted, no fighting between nations. They have flying pods and future guns. The only thing to make us, the audience seeking two hours of escape from our swelling hellworld, feel better is this: Their almost-oppressors could always come back. And when they do, humanity’s powers react as stupidly as any of ours would.
The first is a dumb movie, but it seems almost classical now, with its clean action, steady pacing and painfully simple story. “Resurgence” offers the occasional genuinely awe-inspiring money shot: an alien mother ship scraping through the moon; a towering alien queen surrounded by swirling fighter ships; cities not being incinerated but rolled up into balls of concrete and metal, like an extreme round of Katamari Damacy.