The problem with making a sequel 20 years after the original is that, well, it's been 20 years. That's a long time.

Expecting those of us who struggle to remember what we did last week to remember plot details and character quirks from two decades ago is a big ask.

Yet that's exactly what Independence Day Resurgence expects of viewers. Set 20 years after the original alien invasion, the story picks up almost exactly where it left off.

Scene from the movie Independence Day Resurgence, starring Jeff Goldblum.
Scene from the movie Independence Day Resurgence, starring Jeff Goldblum.

Humanity has survived the Independence Day attacks and banded together to form a global defence force.

Advertisement

A quick, clunky reference to Steven Hiller's death in the opening minutes explains Will Smith's absence from the film, and from there on it's all guns blazing and lasers firing. To say the film is a little light on plot is to say the Pope is just a little bit Catholic.

Liam Hemsworth leads the new generation of heroes charged with saving the world. He also happens to be the boyfriend of former President Whitmore's daughter, now all grown up and working in the White House.

This might be cute if you remember anything about the original film but is otherwise just a convoluted plot point.

More recognisable are Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, who return as scientist David Levinson and former President Whitmore.

Again, there's probably some humour to be found in revisiting these characters 20 years on - if you can remember them to begin with.

Scene from the movie Independence Day Resurgence, starring Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth.
Scene from the movie Independence Day Resurgence, starring Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth.

One thing that has improved are the special effects, in particular the aliens, designed with the help of Weta Digital.

But, though the film is more visually impressive than the original, Resurgence offers nothing new in a landscape crowded with superhero blockbusters.

Director Roland Emmerich has claimed that Marvel copied his original Independence Day formula of mass destruction and alien attacks - but they are the ones who perfected it.

Meanwhile, Resurgence is left feeling like a derivative mash-up of bigger, better franchises.

Review: Independence Day Resurgence

Cast:

Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman, Sela Ward

Director:

Roland Emmerich

Running Time:

120 mins

Rating:

M

Verdict:

Nothing you haven't seen before