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INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE

★★★

SHOULD WE HAVE LEARNED?

THEATRICAL REVIEW
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By Brent Davidson
22nd June 2016

The world was a very different place 20 years ago. I remember I was barely old enough to be allowed to watch the initial installment of (what will now likely be) the franchise of ‘Independence Day’ – honestly, it was one of my grandfather's favourite films and we even had it on VHS. So how does it's sequel stack up to my sketchy memory as a six-year-old?

It's 20 years since the unnamed but vicious aliens tried to take over planet Earth, only to be thwarted by the truly heroic efforts of the human (read: American) race. In that 20 years we have learnt from them, adapted their technologies, been a world united and at peace. Uniting against the possible return of the common foe - and boy, does this foe return!

'INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE' TRAILER 2

My most distinct memories of the original are the far from subtle American propaganda thrown in our faces. Even back then I had a distinct idea of when “American Independence Day” was, yet probably couldn't tell you significant days in Australia’s national calendar. Such was the power of their propaganda machine. It was surprising that, though distinctly American, the sequel doesn't ram it down your throat in the same way as the original. I even felt the film could have used a few more American flags!

The returning cast are fantastic and really play into the nostalgic value the film, which is really most of what it has going for it. Jeff Goldbloom kind of just turns up and reads his lines, but I guess that's sort of his thing now, and why not get paid big bucks to do it? I really like that it does a good fan service, but I never knew that there was a fan base in the first place... that said, I’m glad there is one and I’m glad that it got made, If nothing for the fun of it.

The returning cast are fantastic and really play into the nostalgic value the film.

One thing that has to be brought into question is the score. It feels out of place and, especially in some of the more intense aerial combat scenes, I found myself wondering if indeed it was a glockenspiel I was hearing. I don’t know if it's trying to recreate the feeling of the Star Wars score, but you can’t compete with something so iconic without being drawn into comparison with it. Sadly, the world might have progressed in these 20 years since the original, but it seems like the music department has regressed by 30.

All in all, 'Independence Day: Resurgence' is a very solid action movie that (as I hinted at before) is likely to become a franchise all of its own. The graphics are stunning, the script is sometimes funny but mostly drawn of clichés, the acting is adequate, and the cast members are basically the hottest thing in Hollywood right now. Does it have all the hallmarks of a blockbuster? You bet!

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 23/06/2016
RUN TIME: 2h 0m
CAST: Liam Hemsworth
Jeff Goldblum
Bill Pullman
Judd Hirsch
Vivica A. Fox
Brent Spiner
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Jessie Usher
Maika Monroe
Sela Ward
DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich
WRITERS: Nicolas Wright
James A. Woods
Dean Devlin
Roland Emmerich
James Vanderbilt
PRODUCERS: Dean Devlin
Roland Emmerich
Harald Kloser
SCORE: Harald Kloser & Thomas Wanker
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