Independence Day: Resurgence
Well, that was rather insipid?
A pale, nobody-asked-for-it, sequel that was as emotionally empty as the CGI was surprisingly bad and the destruction disturbingly bland. With only one truly good scene, the rest of the film plodded along with no real climax - both dramatically and emotionally.
Independence Day worked so well back then twenty years ago, because not only was "destruction-porn" something new, they had characters that we cared for. But in this case, although Roland Emmerich is back at the helm, these past twenty years of experience showed us that he had not learnt anything new in terms of visual storytelling or just plain storytelling.
The new characters were all so bland and generic and one-dimensional. We do not care about their fight or sacrifices. Especially since their chemistry together was barely existent. In the end, it was the alumni that really stole the show, but if only they had more screen time.
The product placements and Chinese endorsement were just too intrusive and in-your-face. Ching Han brought some gravitas to the role, but Angelababy (rolls eyes) is such a bad actress and utterly unbelievable in her role - almost all the time she was just mugging for the camera.
Liam Hemsworth can still be a leading man, but his role choices have been veering towards generic marquee, action heroes. He will need to start making bolder choices or latch on to a good franchise or he will still be forgotten. His chemistry with Maika Monroe was sorely lacking and that made their whole entire storyline moot, because I really do not care about them at all. It was actually his bromance with best friend, Travis Trope, that made the more sense and if only that was explored more.
Actually, the whole film really did feel like it was written by five separate screenwriters, with multiple plot threads starting but not going anywhere.
Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman were surely the highlights of the film, both reprising their roles with aplomb and gravitas. Fellow oldies Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner and John Storey also provided the best laughs and heart - although they were so few.
At least Singapore had made it, with the destruction of Marina Bay Sands and the Art Science Museum.
And it looks like a sequel is being planned, if only Emmerich and co. had been willing to go bolder in the execution.