Friday, April 28, 2017

The Occasional Media Consumption: Independence Day: Resurgence

Just in case you thought that all of these reviews were going to be positive, I'll just warn you now: they're not. This movie was a waste of my time. There was exactly one part of this movie that I enjoyed, and that was the relationship between Doctors Isaacs and Ogun, and one of these characters doesn't have a first name. Also, not like this is an actual spoiler, but their relationship doesn't last through the end of the movie (one of them dies).

My time would have been better spent had a repeatedly closed my hand in a door for two hours. This movie is not just willfully dumb, but it assumes that it's audience is as stupid as it is. It was a good thing I had work to do or I might have swallowed my own tongue just to get away from this movie.

And it wasn't even in the "so bad it's good" territory (which I would debate doesn't actually exist, but there do seem to be people who enjoy bad movies for being bad, and what the hell, some people juggle geese); it was just bad. The directing was bad. The plot was bad. The acting was wooden and caricaturist at the best of times, and simply absent at the worst of times. Given the money spent on special effects, the movie never bothered to show us anything; it had to be explained, usually by one (presumably) intelligent character to another (presumably) intelligent character, often in words so small and concepts so simple that I was beginning to think this was a movie designed for five-year-olds.

I would have watched with all my attention the story of two gay scientists working together in the lab as an old married couple, with the sniping and the love and the slapstick comedy, especially if that story starred Brent Spiner and John Storey, both of whom are really quite good comedic actors. There would have been pathos and emotion and a real connection to the audience. You could even have stuff blowing up and aliens invading off-screen, and that would have given them an interesting reason to be working together after so many years.

There were some very sweet moments between these two characters.

Everyone else was terrible. Which makes me sad, because so many of these actors are people I like and admire as actors and I know can do good work: Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, William Fichtner, Sela Ward (criminally underused in this film), hell, even Chin Han. Who was, by the way, specifically put in the film to appeal to the Chinese audience, and who utterly fails to be in any way interesting.

Given the way the movie ended, as a setup for a sequel/franchise, I'm so very glad this movie did horribly at the box office. Perhaps we'll be spared from another two hours of pablum.

Then again, it mostly starred white dudes, so they're probably going to make five of them.