You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Review Roundup: Critics Mild On Bloated Blockbuster

Critics are 50/50 on the sequel to the 1996 action flick.

Independence Day Resurgence

“Independence Day: Resurgence”

Not many critics domestically have gotten the chance to see the upcoming action-packed flick, “Independence Day: Resurgence,” due to limited press screenings. While that necessarily doesn’t mean that the sequel to the 1996 film is a bust, it does bring some intrigue to what those who have actually seen it think. Directed by Roland Emmerich, two decades after the first invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. Overall, the reviews are mixed for the Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth starring movie. Here is what they had to say:

Variety’s Guy Lodge praises the helmer for his work but still thinks the overall movie lacked substance” “Sketchily conceived in all departments but its sensational, more-is-more visual effects — which is, let’s be honest, where its efforts should be concentrated — this belated, cluttered sequel to the 1996 smash “Independence Day” breaks far less ground than its alien invaders, but confirms director Roland Emmerich as modern cinema’s most spirited conductor of popcorn chaos.”

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gave it one star out of five. He states that the film is boring and doesn’t compare to the first, “None of which would matter if the resulting movie wasn’t so joyless and tedious, a reboot quite without the first film’s audacity and fun.” Adding, “The first film was a creature of the pre-digital age when the spacecraft on screen were mostly physical models, but it can’t be entirely the fault of our digital age that this film has no real sense of excitement and awe. It’s a movie that is going through the intergalactic motions.”

READ MORE: Roland Emmerich, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Director, Slams Marvel Movies As ‘Silly’

“Utterly ridiculous but also rollicking good fun,” was Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter’s bottom line. While it doesn’t compare to “Independence Day,” the sequel is just as entertaining according to Felperin. “The whole point of this franchise is watching a lot of alien butt get kicked, and their slimy scrawny tushes are well and truly whooped in gloriously rendered, hyper realistic details. Emmerich and his visual effects teams pull out all the stops and there’s a glorious abysmal beauty in never-ending shots of continent wide space ships landing and mayhem being wreaked.”

On the other hand, Lucy O’Brien from IGN called it “big, dumb, fun,” writing in her review: “A silly, cheesy, spectacle-driven blockbuster with heart, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is a refreshing antidote to the grim and the serious sentiment we’ve seen trending in sci-fi flicks of recent years. While its plot is messy and it’s stuffed with too many characters, I dare you not to leave the theatre with a guilt-free smile on your face.”

“It’s technically and visually marvelous, but it’s hard not to get a little fatigued before the big finish,” writes GameSpot and CNET’s Luke Lancaster. “There was also little room for escalation after the initial, impressive reveals, which makes the ending feel flat. But the real problem isn’t the borderline tiresome carnage. It’s the cast.”

WATCH: The World Is on the Brink of Extinction in Longer ‘Independence Day’ Sequel (“Resurgence”) Trailer

Helen O’Hara of GQ Magazine UK, says that the sequel is “wild, entertaining and utter nonsense.” While she may critique some of the plot lines and cast, writing, “The film suffers hugely from the lack of the Will Smith charisma tornado,” she still found it amusing. “There’s still a (molten) core of wild entertainment beneath the hokum. As half the free world rips itself apart, there’s something magnificent in watching humanity team up against a common enemy. If only we could manage it without the alien menace.”

Dan Jolin of Empire Online was a fan, giving it four out of five stars and really praising the returning cast for making the film what it was. “The film needs Pullman. And Spiner. And Judd Hirsch. And Goldblum. (Will Smith would have been nice, too. But, hey, you can’t have it all,)” he describes. “Those familiar faces, reliving ’96 with us and for us. Goldblum, more than anyone here, is essential. While the VFX tornado swirls around us, he brings things (if you’ll excuse the phrase) down to earth, allowing us to revel in the sheer giddy movieness of it all, and thereby forgive the majority of its shortcomings.”

WATCH: Earth Is Invaded Again In First Trailer For ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’

“Independence Day: Resurgence” opens on June 26th.

Watch the trailer below:

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , , ,