Independence Day: Resurgence (Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray)

October 25, 2016 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

It’s unusual for a movie as big as Independence Day to not get a sequel until 20 years later. The filmmakers clearly learned the hard as the sequel barely crossed the $100 million mark in the U.S. I doubt we’ll get a third entry any time soon. Honestly, after sitting through this dreadful sequel, that’s a blessing. It was highly publicized that Will Smith would not star in this sequel. One of the reasons floating around was that he wanted too much money. Maybe he read the script and saw how awful it was? Who knows? While Smith has starred in some serious duds, especially more recently, his absence is felt. I’ll admit that it’s been some time since I saw the original film, but I did enjoy it for what it was. It never pretended to be more than a big, dumb summer blockbuster. It also delivered the goods. One issue I have with a lot of recent remakes, among other films lately is that they’re just so serious all the time. I’m not sure if they feel this is what modern audiences want, but that’s the case here. Gone is the fun of the original film and the thrills.

So the film picks up 20 years after the original with the people on earth having rebuilt what was once destroyed. All seems to be well until there are signs of another attack. We learn that the character Will Smith played in the original film has perished, and his stepson is following after him. There are plenty of returning faces such as Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch and Bill Pullman who played the President in the first film. Liam Hemsworth shows up as a pilot and we’re given some background info on him. Still, you might have a hard time caring about much of anything that happens in this film. The whole thing just feels lazy and unnecessary after so many years. When the aliens finally start attacking, the action sequences are so boring and repetitive that we’re just ready for them to end. I think because we’ve been so spoiled with endless CGI filled films that we’ve seen all this before and better. Also, something with the hue this time around. The entire film just seemed too dark. It became hard to see exactly what was happening all the time. There are some exciting moments here and there, and the climax can be exciting, but overall, this sequel largely misses the mark.

Video: How’s it look?

Looking at this on Blu-ray and on Ultra HD, they both look great. It’s nearly hard to differentiate the two, but the UHD/4K version does have a tad bit more clarity and increased color depth (the two main benefits of a 4K disc). While I wasn’t exactly crazy about the look of this film, the transfer at least presents it appropriately. Definition was strong throughout and colors seemed smooth. The print was fine, but that’s to be expected for such a recent film. Background shots showed strong details as well. The image is AVC encoded with a 2.40:1 ratio.

Audio: How’s it sound?

We get a Dolby Atmos track that more than delivers. From the quieter moments to the louder action scenes, there’s always nice range here. It really does involve the viewer in the experience. I skipped the film theatrically, but at home, it more than gets the job done. Fans will be pleased with the results here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Deleted Scenes – These can be played with or without commentary by Roland Emmerich.
    • Alternate Opening
    • Bus Stop
    • White House Destruction
    • Charlie Asks Rain Out
    • Roadside Conversation
    • Queen’s Chamber
    • President Lanford’s Death
    • Catherine’s Goodbye
  • The War of 1996 – A faux broadcast by United World News as they look back two decades and man’s triumphant victory over the aliens. We see how the victory united the world and watch as they rebuilt things newer and better. I guess all we need is to be invaded by aliens to save our species, eh?
  • It’s Early ABQ! – No, it’s not a Breaking Bad reference. It’s another pseudo broadcast, this time with an early morning talk show entitled, you guessed it, It’s Early ABQ! Hosted by Terry Dudley, he interviews Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch) about his book How I Saved the World. I’ll leave it at that.
  • Another Day: The Making of Independence Day: Resurgence – The most robust feature on the disc, this is actually broken down into featurettes which can be played individually or all in sequence.
    • A New Squadron
    • Earth as We Know It
    • The Tools of the Future
    • The Invaders
  • Gag Reel – Oh don’t make me say it…shenanigans on the set!
  • Audio Commentary – Director Roland Emmerich actually delivers a pretty well-thought out and straight-forward commentary track. Like his previous one for the film’s predecessor, he has a passion for the project (obviously) and it’s full of facts about the film. Fans of the movie will get a kick out of it, to be sure.
  • Concept Art – A series of galleries broken down into different categories.
    • Aliens
    • AI
    • Humans
    • Locations
    • Original Presentation Images
  • Theatrical Trailers – Three total, two theatrical trailers and a television spot.
  • Sneak Peek – Discover Digital HD (if you haven’t already), Assassin’s Creed, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence – Battle Heroes Mobile Game Trailer

The Bottom Line

Twenty years too late. Resurgence largely misses the mark. Bland characters, boring action sequences and slow pacing are the biggest issues. Also, the absence of Will Smith definitely hurts the film. It’ll always be the original film that I return to. There’s just nothing of interest here. Skip it.

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