There is no way to hide from the fact that Independence Day: Resurgence is a very poor movie.
Independence Day was fun, in a goofy sort of way. One could sit back and enjoy it if one didn’t think about it too much. (A friend of mind argued that ID4 said a great deal about the way Americans view themselves.) Resurgence, however, isn’t anything like as good, with too many problems to be believable. Even the Special FX aren’t that great.
Twenty (or so) years after the first invasion was defeated, humanity has come together to build a new world – and a defence against a second invasion. However, when the second invasion begins, humanity’s defences are paper-thin and the only way to stop the aliens is a crazy plan that might just work. (Spoiler alert – it does.) Old characters pair up with new ones to defeat the aliens, rekindle their relationships and so on.
ID4 worked, on a personal basis, because many of the relationships were understandable, even relatable. The movie sketched them out for us over the brief introduction before the fighting actually began. But many of the newer characters are far less sympathetic than the older ones, with backstories that come across as annoying. It says a great deal about the hopeless mishmash that the only genuine relationship that works is the (previously unmentioned) homosexual romance between Doctor Okun and someone whose name escapes me.
And ID4 worked on an overall level because much of the movie flowed naturally. The aliens arrive and attack, the humans counterattack … the mistakes made by the characters are reasonable mistakes. (They didn’t know about the forcefields, hence sending the marines to get slaughtered was an unforced error.) Here, they have no such excuse. Sending a relatively small force up against an enemy known to use swarm tactics was stupid. In fact, one expects far more firepower deployed to protect Earth. Give me twenty years, alien tech and an unlimited budget and I’ll have colonies all over the solar system.
The annoying thing is that there were moments of genuine interest. Apparently, there was a ground war against the aliens in Africa. Wouldn’t that have made a suitable setting for a movie? Or a ground war in America? For that matter, why not have the aliens engaged at the edge of the solar system? It would have made a better – and more believable – story.
Overall, it wasn’t worth waiting twenty years to see this movie.