Independence Day: Resurgence (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Independence Day Resurgence 4K Blu-rayIndependence Day: Resurgence is one of those sequels that never needed nor should have been made.  So why was it? That’s a very good question.  Considering they couldn’t even lure Will Smith back for it should have been the nail in the coffin.  However, it wasn’t.  Not even Jeff Goldblum nor Liam Hemsworth can keep this ship from crashing in this one.  Sadly it’s all about greed here.  Fox knew the uneducated would come out in droves to support the film that took the sic-fi community by storm 20 years ago.  And what’s more patriotic than seeing a summer action movie circa the Fourth of July holiday?  That’s a rhetorical question.  So what follows is a review of a crappy sequel to the highly heralded sci-fi classic, Independence Day (see my 20th anniversary review of the 4K Ultra HD set here and Aaron’s Blu-ray coverage here).



This is not an Eagles reunion, ladies and gentlemen.  Hell has not frozen over.  It’s frickin’ hotter than ever!  Independence Day: Resurgence, not to be confused with its superior science fiction/action film predecessor in any way, is directed by Roland Emmerich.  It was written by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Nicolas Wright, James A. Woods and James Vanderbilt.  Sadly, yes it is a direct sequel to the 1996 Will Smith action vehicle, Independence Day.  Even the following ensemble cast can’t keep this ship from plummeting hard.  The list of names include Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Travis Tope, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner and Sela Ward.  Will Smith had the smarts to stay the hell away from this train wreck.

So here we are.  It’s twenty years after the aliens nearly wiped out humankind in the first film.  They’re back with a vengeance now.  During the past twenty years the nations of Earth developed a vast defense program to protect the planet using recovered alien technology.  This is all done under the love and care of scientist David Levinson (Goldblum). However, it seems like nothing could prepare us for this new alien invasion of an “unprecedented scale.”  We’ll get to that sense of scale more down below.  Like last time though, it’s up to a few brave men and women to save our world from extinction as well as a few reluctant returning cast members.

First and foremost, the story is about as bland as that frozen, gluten-free bread you buy in the grocery store’s freezer section.  Certainly, there are many worst films out there, but for a sequel to the highly successful, visually groundbreaking Independence Day, you’d certainly expect much more in terms of quality and story for that matter.  After all, they had twenty years to write this one too.  Sadly, the characters and their delivery of lines are more wooden than the lumber that my house is framed from.  My house will blow over in a storm before any of them will.  Ha ha.

Second, let’s move onto the characters in this film.  Ah!  I want to pull my hair out.  There are so many of them!  Whose story is this anyway?  I wish I could tell you with 100% certainty.  There were not many growth opportunities in here for any of them.  It just felt like the filmmakers’ thoughts were let’s see how many people we can bring back to this sequel and if we can’t bring them back, how can we incorporate their offspring or relatives.  It was a chore at times to keep track of all the players, cameos and whatnot because it broke up many times what could have been some spectacular action sequences.  That brings me to my third point…the action.

Now don’t get me wrong the first film took a long time to kick in too, but it had something that this film is sorely void of.  The first flick had a sense of humor that complemented both the action sequences and non-action moments.  It also had heart, attitude, spirit and spunk too, but that’s a whole other can of worms I don’t even want to open here.  There were only a few times when the action kicked in here and I said this isn’t too bad, but they are very few and far between.  Even the film’s sacrificial Act 3 moment came and went without a care from me.  I guess it’s because I never really felt a sense of connection with any of this new cast nor did I believe any sense of emotion they were trying to convey.  In my opinion the film could have benefitted from many more zany action moments to counterbalance the weak storyline, but I digress.

Last but not least let’s talk scale and gravity of the situation at hand here.  Scale-wise, unlike the first film, there’s only one huge ship here that maybe spans almost two continents at most.  I won’t got into any more detail about why only one ship as I don’t want to venture into any spoiler territory.  However, what’s missing is that threat factor and stakes that the first feature had.  In that entry there were ships around the globe and everyone was fighting to survive.  Here they explain the threat is world impacting, but it’s only a handful of select US personnel fighting the aliens throughout.  I do love how they start this one off in a fictional version of today where we have been experimenting with the 1996 alien technology ever since.  That was the coolest part of this movie for me not to mention it’s much shorter than its predecessor too.  So there’s always that!


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of Fox’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Independence Day: Resurgence.  To read all about the 1080P Blu-ray presentation please refer to Aaron’s coverage of it all here.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: This one is supposedly finished with a 4K DI, but that does not impress me much as it wasn’t a beauty to behold like I thought it would be.  Sadly, I’m not talking about the story either.  I’m not sure whether it’s intentional to hide a lot of the CGI effects or what not, but I’m not crazy about the vast amount of darkness, blah coloring and softness found here.  Sure there are moments where fine stubble and hair are on display, but for me the most noticeable fine details were in the tech and instrument panels of the equipment.
  • Depth: Despite the darkness there were moments of great depth such as soldiers behind the characters in Africa or in the Area 51 hangar base.  However, the image felt soft at times and that truly messed with the depth perception in those particular moments.  Like I said that may have been intentionally done to blend all the flat CGI environments.  I don’t know for sure.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are dark and deep throughout here.  There’s a nice balance of objects and light shadow detail thanks to the HDR infused presentation.  Make no mistake about it, this is a very dark looking film.
  • Color Reproduction: Here’s where I have to get nitpick.  There’s not a lot of color in this one.  During the moments there is I feel the colors are very rich and full, but for the most part this is a very dark presentation shrouded in blues, teals and grays.  The neons in lights and rich colors in red and aqua instrument panels really pop in contrast to the dark environments here.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones and temperatures all looked natural and authentic throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There’s some slight source noise throughout, but other than that there’s absolutely nothing to nitpick this presentation over in way of artifacts, noise or nasty blemishes.


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Fox’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Independence Day: Resurgence.  The 4K UHD disc comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track, but the regular 1080p Blu-ray presentation only has a English 7.1 DTS-HD-MA one.  To learn all about the 1080P Blu-ray’s surround track please refer to Aaron’s coverage of it all here.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DTS
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Independence Day: Resurgence seems like it would be a slam dunk in the audio department.  However, I did have more fun and enjoyment with the Pacific Rim presentation detailed here.  Despite some minor nitpicks when the action onscreen finally takes off this becomes a very wide open, dynamic presentation.  That’s all that matters in this department.  More action could have helped though.  I’m just saying.  Ha ha.
  • Height: The Atmos “height” channel is used quite effectively here with the many spaceships, crafts and whatnot blasting off, flying over head, etc.  I loved the one scene where our heroes space ship gets pulled under and dragged along with the gravity of the lone alien vessel making its voyage to Earth.  The Atmos channel literally dragged you here.  Love it!
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is what impresses me the most in the audio department here.  It was so aggressive at times I could literally feel the weight of these spacecrafts.  Of course there’s also the usual rumble of the score, fusion drives (we all love these haha), explosions, booms and ships swooshing by.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels are just impressive here and get quite the workout too.  From atmosphere, effects and score to cross channel dog fights, lasers, alarms, etc. the rear speakers put you in the middle of the chaos and various onscreen battles.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: All spoken words for me were loud and clear.  I didn’t have any troubles here.


If you care, there’s over an hour worth of extras available on the included 1080p Blu-ray disc in this 4K Ultra HD set of Independence Day: Resurgence.  In addition to the feature film in HD on the 1080p Blu-ray disc and the Digital HD file good for either iTunes or UltraViolet redemption there are other amazing special features  They include eight deleted scenes, a featurette on “The War of 1996,” the morning show parody “It’s Early, ABQ” featuring Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch and Liam Hemsworth, a gag reel, audio commentary from Roland Emmerich, the documentary “Another Day: The Making of Independence Day: Resurgence and more.  Read all about them in more detail down below.

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 8:24) – There are a total of eight deleted scenes with optional Audio Commentary by Roland Emmerich: Alternate Opening, Bus Stop, White House Destruction, Charles Asks Rain Out, Roadside Conversation, Queen’s Chamber, President Landford’s Death, Catherine’s Goodbye.  As Aaron says over in his Blu-ray review these deleted scenes feature a number of missing character beats that could have been helpful as well as a key cast member being squashed by the alien queen.  I want to note there’s a Play All optional selection here too.
  • The War of 1996 (HD, 5:11) – Here we have a brief piece set in the universe of these films, which bridges the gap between the two movies.  This is kind of cool to see.
  • It’s Early, ABQ! (HD, 3:07) – Fred Armisen stars as a fake talk show host in this little bit of fun.
  • Another Day: The Making of Independence Day: Resurgence (HD, 55:25) –  Here we have a 4-part documentary that goes over the various elements of development and production of the film.  As the runtime indicates it’s a big one!  This is the heart of the supplemental package here.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 6:14) – If you like to watch a bunch of dumb fumbles and a woman chasing a dog around, these are for you.  I usually love gag reels, but these were as lame to me as the movie was.  Lots of Jeff Goldblum moments here too.
  • Audio Commentary – This audio commentary track features Roland Emmerich and lots of optimism can be found in his voice, as he discusses the film and all the effort he put into it.  Hard to believe, huh?
  • Concept Art (HD) – Here we have selectable concept art of Aliens, AI, Humans, Locations and Original Presentation Images.
  • Theatrical Trailers and TV Spot (HD, 5:18) – There are two trailers and one TV spot found here with a selectable Play All option.


Independence Day: Resurgence plays out a lot like Terminator Genisys for me in the way it takes a beloved sci-fi property I hold near and dear to my heart and tarnishes it with mediocracy and embarrassment at times.  Sadly it’s not nearly as good either.  At least the latter has humor, spirit and spunk to go along with its lackluster sci-fi tale.  From bad acting, wooden dialogue and an overall B-movie feel to it all, Independence Day: Resurgence was not sequel I was drooling to see made for the past twenty years now.  Some movies are better left not made and stuck in development hell.  Sadly, this is one of them for me.  If it makes you feel any better, Will Smith is sort of in this one.  Watch your step and proceed with the utmost of caution here.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified A/V gear found here.  Make sure to check out all out 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


It’s Just Another Day At The Beach As

Independence Day: Resurgence Washes Up

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray this past Tuesday.




Independence Day Resurgence 4K Blu-ray Cover Art


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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