By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
WHAT'S INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE ABOUT?
20 years after the first film, the alien queen arrives for vengeance.
IS IT ANY GOOD (GRADE: B-)
Ignore the dour reviews; Indepedence Day: Resurgence is perfectly enjoyable dumb fun. While not destined to be a classic like the first film (and definitely lacking the charisma of Will Smith and the charm of David Arnold's music), this sequel provides enough spectacle and escapism to justify a big-screen experience. The characters are broad archetypes, the plot has holes larger than those drilled by the invading extraterrestrials, the coincidences pile up to bring characters together, and it could have used a bit more humor. Still, as junk-food cinema, Resurgence satisfies with a likable cast (especially the returning players), a creatively-realized alternate 2016, some delightfully bizarre sci-fi touches, and more than enough big-budget action to meet the summer movie quota.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Independence Day: Resurgence is rated PG-13. We see the outline of a man's butt crack through his underwear (played for laughs). A gay couple holds hands and a straight couple kisses, but there's no sexuality. There are about a dozen mild-to-moderate profanities, but no f-words. There is action violence and destruction, with millions dying in an alien attack, while aliens are shot and stabbed later and some humans are killed, though it's mostly bloodless. There's not much by way of gore or blood in the film.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
True heroism is being willing to die for others. In times of crisis you can find your courage. The people you like the least can become your closest friends.
For another out-of-this-world adventure from Independence Day: Resurgence director Roland Emmerich, I recommend Stargate!