Terrible movies are fascinating and in this day and age seem far more frequent. I don’t want to be a bandwagon-hopping, pitchfork-wielding mob type who screams bloody murder over the terrible amount of sequels, prequels and reboots happening in Hollywood right now—unless these metaphorical pitchforks transformed into real ones and I was allowed 10 minutes in a soundproof room with whomever is responsible for the abomination that is “Independence Day: Resurgence.”
Oh, sweet Bard! Help me find the words to properly describe the experience of watching this weird wet fart of a feature film. Imagine passing a pine cone through your rectum. And right behind that pine cone is a porous container of hot sauce or hydrochloric acid. Then, once this gargantuan task of passing such random items is complete, the only available wiping material is a pile of steel wool that had been used to scrub the bedpans of IBS patients in a retirement community.
I’m perplexed as how something this bad exists. “Resurgence” is a typical summer blockbuster movie made with hundreds of millions of dollars and a pretty standard alien-invasion plot. It has been played out hundreds of times. I easily can think of a dozen movies that took the exact same premise and delivered something lazy and uninspired: “Battleship,” “Battle: Los Angeles,” “Skyline,” “Invasion,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “The 5th Wave,” and “Cowboys & Aliens” immediately spring to mind. Though these films have achieved a level of average that would make Blimpie’s subs envious, they are not as terrible as “Resurgence.”
The film jumps right in to show audiences the world 20 years after the original movie. Earth defeated invading aliens using a Macbook and a handful of tomahawk missiles. Things weren’t all cigars and celebrations after the victory. The world put aside their petty differences and used the alien technology to give themselves a tasty evolutionary upgrade. They’re smart enough to prepare for a return from our would-be alien overlords. When they show up, we quickly learn their upgrades aren’t nearly as impressive as the alien’s, and so the world gets its asses handed to them faster than you can say “Sayonara Eastern Seaboard.”
Like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Independence Day: Resurgence” is basically the original movie copy and pasted into the modern era. “The Force Awakens” ably overcame a complete lack of ingenuity thanks to the effort of its creative shepherds and a very likable cast. “Resurgence” decided to take the opposite route. There is zero effort made and film assembles the most unlikable ensemble cast ever. Its headlined by Liam Hemsworth, who may be the least charismatic leading man since the world was introduced to Jai Courtney. He’s horrible in a hilarious way, and delivers his testosterone-fueled lines as if being directed to act like he is missing chromosomes. The older actors from the original are there but they’re stuck in shtick mode and perform the same tired routine recycled from the first movie. Jeff Goldblum sleepwalks through every scene as if he’s distracted by doing the math to surmise if appearing in this piece of trash paid him enough to buy that vacation home in Malta he’s been eying.
What saved “Resurgence” was humor—not actual humor. Every attempt at a joke falls flatter than a pancake in a hydraulic press operated by a tone-deaf A-Cup. The unintentional humor on the other hand: holy shit! I laughed my way through this screening, much to the chagrin of those sharing the theater. There’s a death scene early on that is so unintentionally hilarious I couldn’t stop laughing for a solid 10 minutes. If I had seen this movie high I might have required hospitalization. The absolutely turgid dialogue lands with the grace of a gymnast with no bones. There are moments intended to be dramatic but play out with the weight of a third-grade adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull.”
Trust me, I am trying to avoid hyperbole in this review. “Resurgence” is genuinely terrible in every aspect. Even the production design is bad. The laser guns look like Nerf blasters. The characters are so lazily entered into the narrative they don’t deserve names. There isn’t a single scene that looks like it was filmed in the real world. There’s an overall fakeness to every molecule in the mewling, maddening, mess of a movie. If the opposite of inspiration is depression, then “Independence Day: Resurgence” is the most depressing movie ever made.