[CRITICAL] INDEPENDENCE DAY : RESURGENCE

Independence Day : Resurgence has been reviewed by Antoine in the context of the topic, Reflections of Poetry.

Reflect on the hollywood blockbuster, and more specifically on the practice of ritualized remake or sequel – the two opposing’t always Hollywood – necessarily involves an analysis of the rewriting intertextual co-presence of other films by way of quotation, reference or allusion), or even hypertext, for the purpose of affirming the authority of the first component. The case of’INDEPENDENCE DAY : RESURGENCE turns out to be more interesting than the last Star Wars or Pixar (The world of Dory) : the two INDEPENDENCE DAY being signed by the same filmmaker, the ” most american of the German directors “, Roland Emmerich (White House Down, The Day after, 2012, Stargate, etc).

Twenty years after the release of’INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996), Emmerich throws in a “suite” juggernaut in the budget doubled (to 200 million), and the cast largely rejuvenated (Liam Hemsworth, and Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Travis Tope, Joey King…), without, however, forgetting his own “ruins” (Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox). The logic that premium here, “do the new with the old”, is the one that seems to govern the structure of the blockbuster modern. The filmmakers perform the copy storylines of origin and recycle the characters of the characters stereotypical (the head-burned, the good soldier, the geek, the romance, the relationships, parental, etc). In good specialist of the film of catastrophe, Emmerich is a veteran of the frame story are expected, and his vision of the world, a bit dated, has always been the quaint charm of his “best” films : a vintage look and uninhibited, which gave, for example, to White House Down its most beautiful moments.

While here, he has to do is encrypt the transformations or changes that are present in this sequel, or rather remake (it would cost almost), to prove that the gaze of the filmmaker has not changed for over twenty years. Or, perhaps, that integrate two asian characters (Grace Huang and Chin-Han) would be a translation of its personal, a world in which the borders thinner, or even disappear (sic). More american than any american filmmaker contemporary, Emmerich offers to its audience the old-school blockbuster that he expects and that he cherishes : an ode to the glory of the man, or rather of american, and of God in the face of figures alienating (futuristic technology and threat foreign).

So yes, the film seems to re-emerge, hence the title prophetic of the 1980s, even the 1990s ; the vision of the world a little bit binary full of autocitations and easy references (the nod to Jurassic Park with the look in the rear view mirror Goldblum), but alas, unable to take his distances with his illustrious predecessors (Alien, Meets the 3rd type, King Kong, Starship Troopers, Poseidon).

“More american than any american filmmaker contemporary, Emmerich offers to its audience the old-school blockbuster that he expects and that he cherishes : an ode to the glory of the man, or rather of the american and of God in the face of figures alienating. “

INDEPENDENCE DAY : RESURGENCE grows and copying at its peak with these same characters-types, posted in the same vessels, and taken of the same human relations. And if the vessels are logically the most imposing and the secondary characters are more numerous, the action scenes and destruction seem to be less dramatic (and less numerous). They are finally emptied of their dimension of apocalyptic ; Emmerich will be filming over the streets and these anonymous leaking of the chaos and certain death like the best scenes of the first film (the sequence from the Empire State Building), but largely prefer to dwell on a few individuals to the trajectories entrenched in their character as archetypal.

The interest on the first pane was still in this way of moving from the particular to the universal, from the microscopic to the macroscopic through the special effects and the models impressive ; a scaling ratio which made grasping the violence of the destruction of crowds and famous landmarks. Schema mythical of the last judgement from a western company on the decline, but ultimately saved by its founders (President, Military and Scientific), the disaster movie ofEmmerich exorcised the crisis and the conjurait by a return to the values of the puritan and traditional : vision o how consolatoire than a handful of survivors to rebuild a purified world.

In this “sequel remake” (it is necessary to find a term film of this new genre), Emmerich does not offer any view on the original work (while some characters have aged), his filmography, or even on the genre of science fiction, but is interested only in the parentage and the legacy that his film so-called worship is meant to evoke among the general public (the new movies Star Trek are on this account a lot more ingenious narrativement). Company strangely self-centered, so that this rewrite would have had to offer him a golden opportunity of judging, put the taste of the day, or to invent a topic more contemporary, INDEPENDENCE DAY : RESURGENCE is merely to repeat mechanically and stupidly the same patterns and archetypes without any visual imagination or displacement of the codes are generic.

The film was beautiful to play the card of amplification, one-upmanship via a digital imaging itself unable to overcome the imagination, a standardised and tired, of their author (the Queen alien in the film is a mix between an Alien, Transformers and King Kong), there emerges finally a pale copy of the first film as well as all the other films that he likes to cite. The hyper-realism caused by the digital effects which, in the framework of the disaster film, are used to feed our imagination of the end of the world, also seems to mitigate the violence that is felt on the screen. By its excess, of performance, violence, digital lost to film his trail of truth documentarisante (no picture of the ruins ?).

While the tributes and other nods seem to be by the time missed, which wasn’t the case in Star Wars VII : the discourse of patriotism in the president to the sacrifice paternal, passing by the humour muddy of the two young masculine males (their relationship “crypto-gay” is worthy of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in Top Gun), the repetition does not work any more, the world has changed, but only Emmerich does not seem to have understood, or at least, doesn’t want to see, true to his unwavering love of the myths, pastoral americans.

With the planned release in 2017 of Blade Runner 2 and the two movies Alien (Covenant of Ridley Scott and Alien 5 of Neil Blomkamp), it will then be time to define this kind hollywood of the remake under the guise of following, a kind of paradigm of the blockbuster modern, in order to detect multiple sclerosis but especially the limits of an aesthetic of the ruin, film, unable to offer anything other than storylines out or the figures of the iconography of popular totally formatted, and limited to a few models all-powerful that Hollywood recycles copiously.

This ” superstructure “, this process of infinite reproduction, is called to renew itself forever (the Myth of the Eternal Return is inexhaustible and timeless, even as the heroes get older) as long as the violence that these films spread furiously at the screen is no longer capable of closing the lower film, because, abused, and abusive, she detached from any human reality.

Antoine Gaudé

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