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YMMV / Independence Day: Resurgence

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  • Base-Breaking Character: Julius. While he's still the lovable Cool Old Guy as he was in the first movie, many feel that his storyline was extraneous to the plot and he should've had a smaller role. Others grew to love him even more after his heartwarming gradual adoption of a whole herd of orphaned children.
  • Broken Base: Will Smith not being in the movie. Some feel the movie can work fine without him but others feel him not being in it is a major detriment, to the point where some have refused to watch the film because of it (and likely was a problem for this film at the box office). Still others, after the fiasco that was After Earth are glad he isn't in it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
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    • Dr. Okun has become the most popular returning character thanks to Brent Spiner clearly having a blast being back, and the positive portrayal of his relationship with Dr. Isaacs.
    • Umbutu has become beloved for being a stone-cold, alien-killing badass. Many have expressed a desire to see a prequel depicting the ground war between his people and the aliens.
  • Eight Deadly Words: The Screen Junkies crew severely criticized the film for its lack of compelling characters and interaction. They found it hard to care whether or not the Earth is blown up, unlike the first movie. Heck, some even wish the aliens had succeeded if only for the studio to not churn out any more lackluster sequels.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: At the end of the film, the heroes manage once again to defeat the invaders yet they still lost all space stations, all satellites and many countries were wiped out not to mention that other aliens might return.
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  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Steve's enthusiastic "I have GOT to get me one of these!" while flying the attacker becomes a tad less funny after reading that he died while flying a hybrid fighter based on that ship.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film did much better outside of the U.S., earning nearly three-quarters of its box-office take in the rest of the world and saving it from being an outright Box Office Bomb. In more specific terms, it did particularly well in China and Japan, which contributed $75m and $25m respectively of the film's roughly $380m worldwide take.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The first trailer arrived just a week after the death of Robert Loggia, who played General Grey in the first film.
    • It turned out to be pretty fortunate that Russell Casse was killed off in the first film, since by the time this one was made and the crew went on their grand campaign to bring back all the actors they could, Randy Quaid was a little busy being an actual crazy person, and hiding out in Canada from charges of animal abuse.
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    • The film was released a day after Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, a move whose primary supporters liberally quoted the first film's big speech in their arguments. Then the next day the British economy fell into the gutter, at the same time people were watching London getting destroyed in this film.
    • Dr. Okun happily declares that they're going to kick alien ass in a sequel, but unfortunately, the film was a financial disappointment, rendering chances for a sequel unlikely (although Roland Emmerich is thinking about bringing the film franchise to television instead). Talk about Tempting Fate.
    • Whitmore's big speech about how all of humanity is able to put race, creed, culture, etc. aside to fight as one against the aliens comes off as rather sad given that these very issues have increasingly divided people to often gruesome levels since July 2016, making the film look like a cinematic version of a Wide-Eyed Idealist.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Mckenna Grace plays a girl in the midst of an alien invasion. She would later play the younger version of a character whose half-alien.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Several fans have found Hiller's death a bit suspicious as there was no body recovered and his aircraft disappeared. The second trailer directly stating that Hiller is dead is also seen as a bit suspect. Some people have suggested that this was purposely done to leave the door open in case Smith decides to return for a possible sequel.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A comment early in the film about how valuable China's contribution to the space programme has been comes across this way, seeing how China was the market where the film made the second-most money, at $75m; not all that far behind the U.S., where it made $103m.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • The Super Bowl trailer has most of Singapore gets lifted up from the ground. Also, the Burj Khalifa and what is implied to be the rest of Dubai comes crashing down on London, raining destruction at a scale that rivals or even tops those seen in the original film.
    • In the second trailer it also shows that the Petronas Towers from Malaysia are also crashing into London, suggesting that most of Asia has met the same fate.
    • Promo material and the second trailer reveal the true size of the true alien mothership: the entire Atlantic Ocean.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Dr. Brakish Okun and Dr. Isaacs from the get-go are clearly an item. Isaacs took care of Okun's comatose body for twenty years and even attempted to knit him a sweater, they use terms of endearment for each other including "babe" and "baby" and Okun is devastated when Isaacs is killed by the aliens.
    • With the doctors, the homoerotic undertones are overtones, with their relationship all but stated. Jake and Charlie, on the other hand, are obviously straight, yet share more heartfelt moments between them than with their intended Love Interests. Their mutual affection is justified by the fact that they're basically step-brothers, having met when they were around seven and three, respectively, and have stuck together since. But that hasn't stopped shippers before.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The trailer came out right around the same time as the penultimate episode of the One-Punch Man anime, which included an attack on a city by a massive alien spaceship similar to the one featured in the trailer. As such, cries of "Save us, Saitama!" could often be found in many discussion threads to do with the trailer.
    • Go to any comments section for the trailer and you'll see people joking that the aliens have finally installed anti-virus software.
    • Due to the Harvester Queen resembling the Female MUTO of Legendary's Godzilla, some fans have joked that Roland Emmerich couldn't resist ripping off the American Godzilla movie that was better than his American Godzilla movie.
  • Narm:
    • "We're gonna kick some serious alien ass!" As the closing line of the film, it's definitely not up there with "Didn't I promise you fireworks?" Not helped by how Okun effectively looks right at the camera and promises a sequel.
    • Jake's roaring when he pulls on the flight controls. It gets very repetitive after a while, as Screen Junkies pointed out.
    • Whitmore's speech, which many found to be nowhere near as bombastic, inspirational, or fun as in the first film. It's also not helped by how random his audience is, consisting of a mostly empty hangar and sporadic flight crews standing around.
    • Charlie's interest in, and attempts to flirt with, Rain straddle the line between this and creepy for some (if not falling into Narm Charm).
    • The camera lingering on a painting of Steven Hiller, as if to make it count as Will Smith being in this movie.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The aliens' plan in this movie is much more horrifying, and shows that we underestimated just how much of a race of Planet Looters they really are. Their goal is to use their Wave Motion Gun to penetrate and harvest Earth's core, turning the planet into a lifeless husk.
    • In the beginning, we briefly see the hollowed-out remains of another planet they strip-mined in such a manner.
  • Older Than They Think: The aliens using blaster rifles was actually established in the tie-in novel War in the Desert, published at the time of the original film's release.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Virtually no love at all was given for Maika Monroe after replacing Mae Whitman as Patricia Whitmore. While much of the new cast falls into this tropenote , Monroe's case is Egregious due to the fact that Whitman is now a very popular actress while Monroe was panned for her flat and uninteresting character (despite praise from her previous works The Guest and It Follows). Hell, even Anna Kendrick was also vocal of Patricia's recasting.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The entire cast was so bland that members of the audience wished that the aliens blew up the Earth in order for the film to end and not churn out any more lackluster sequels.
  • Sequelitis: General opinion seems to be that the film isn't as good or fun as the original film, and it was poorly received as a result.
  • Spiritual Licensee: The first trailer is makes this look like the best XCOM: Enemy Unknown film ever.
    • Hive Mind aliens? Two invasions of Earth 20 years apart? Humanity politically fairly unified? There are clear differences, but the two movies sure look like prequels to Ender's Game...
    • The Sole Survivor of a technologically-advanced alien race arrives to warn the heroes of a Hive Mind alien force that devours planets, and compels them to join all different cultures together, and make use of heretofore unknown technology, including cannons mounted on moons, in its defeat? Ever see Shadow Raiders?
    • If a Robotech film ever actually gets off the ground, it will need some serious re-plotting (or just flat-out skip the Macross and Masters storylines) to avoid this trope.
    • An ancient, enigmatic white sphere that seeks out alien races to uplift, at the head of a cosmic battle against an unstoppable and genocidal enemy? Is this a Destiny movie?
    • Somehow the movie manages to take most of the plot points from the 1992 Dragon Ball Z animated movie Clash!! The Power of 10 Billion Warriors US release name: The Return of Cooler. An alien invasion where a hive mind comes to steal a planet's molten core in order to power its machines, and is stopped with the help of a benign alien third party. The image of the alien ship is also an almost shot-for-shot remake of the Big Ghetti Star hovering over New Namek.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Captain Steven Hiller being killed off during the 20-year gap is this for many people as the charisma that Will Smith's character brought to the first film was one of the major highlights that people enjoyed about the original movie. However, some believe that his death is a cover-up and that he's simply in hiding or on a secret mission, leaving his character free to come back if Will Smith changes his mind.
    • David Levinson had lost both his wife and his best friend during the past twenty years. At no point does he seem motivated by grief, burying himself in his work.
    • Dylan could've filled Jake's role in the film seamlessly, apart from Jake's "cleaning up his own mess" moon scene. Dylan's an established fighter pilot whose skill matches Jake's, he lacked Jake's Glory Hound traits seen in the backstory and his reaction to his mother's death could've been explored more thoroughly. Dylan could also have been the fiance to Patricia rather than Jake; Dylan and Patricia have a history since they met in the first movie at Area 51, their fathers are war hero fighter pilots who passed on their love of flying (this could've led to plenty of opportunities for socialization). If one wants to go in that direction a mixed-race couple note  would've been a good statement of how accepting and diverse the world had become; Dylan's arc could've created a deeper story combining him saving the world, a relationship with Patricia and coping with his mother's death.
    • As mentioned below, Julius's arc could have created a more entertaining story than his cross-country road trip that ultimately has no impact on the main story.
    • President Lanford. Her character is a Foil to former President Whitmore, who's shown to have a strong personality yet caring to those close to her like Patricia, and is hyped by the trailers to be the new 'leader' character of the movie to succeed Whitmore. She makes tactical mistakes again and again and is ultimately Killed Offscreen by an alien kill squad, leaving General Adams to take over the command and Whitmore to bring himself back into the fight once again.
      • In the deleted scenes of the film, she is stomped on by the Queen after she proves herself no longer useful.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • A 10 year war between African Warlords and Aliens? Nope, no great story ideas there!
    • Quite a bit could have been built upon (even just building out the world) with a big-budget miniseries (think Amerika from the 1980s, for example) or another format more friendly to added screentime. An Expanded Universe in this world would be fascinating, from exploring how the world copes with such a devastating event to how each nation rebuilds its destroyed cities and recovers.
    • A major plot point in the first movie involved Hiller (Will Smith) applying for a position as an astronaut at NASA. If Will Smith had returned for the sequel, it would have been pretty cool to see an older Hiller actually achieving his dream and becoming an astronaut. Not only would it have made for nice Character Development, it would have been a refreshing change of pace to see such an iconic Action Hero taking a more cerebral role as a scientist/explorer.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Julius' cross-country adventure does nothing to advance the plot at all.
  • Unexpected Character: Many viewers presumed that Doctor Brakish Okun died after being used by a Puppeteer Parasite in the previous movie. As it turns out, he was in a 20-year coma and is just now waking up.

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