Independence Day was one of the more just straight-up fun action movies of the 1990s--one that didn't take itself too seriously, while still being an exciting, funny and memorable flick. It's been twenty years now, and only now do they decide to bring us a sequel; one that may not have been strictly necessary, but here it is and now we have to deal with it, for better or for worse.
Just as twenty years passed between the two movies' existence, twenty years passed in movie time; and now they've used the alien technology to rebuild the Earth and to build a weapons defense system--on Earth *and* the Moon. And guess what? One of the last remaining destroyer ships actually set out a distress signal before it was shot down. And then... it takes twenty years... but the reinforcements (or something) *finally* show up. And proceed to wipe the floor with the "defense" system. Thus bringing up the need for Earth to win again via its will to survive in a battle led by some old and new faces alike.
Resurgence's plot is definitely more convoluted than its predecessor's; the whole "distress call" thing makes little sense, and then it's suggested that it's something else entirely, leaving me trying to figure out which it is. The film is ultimately even more harder to take seriously than its predecessor. The film does get off to a bit of a bumpy start; it sort of plods along, occasionally being dull or just flat out awkward or sloppy. It picks up a bit once the aliens show up, but it's not until the second half of the movie that things really get going and this film truly shows why it's worth watching.
Yes, the action sequences are still pretty awesome. The air battles between the two sides' smaller fighters are still cool, some new ground fights between humans and aliens are nice, and the final showdown is spectacular. Oh yeah, and there's also the visually impressive apocalyptic-esque destruction with the gravity machine.
Otherwise, the humor is given in lesser quantities and the script isn't as good, but it still sure has its moments, several of them delivered by Jeff Goldblum. Although it's somewhat disappointing not to have Will Smith around anymore in this movie, Goldblum still manages to carry the movie (similar to how he easily carried The Lost World: Jurassic Park as the only returning main character). Judd Hirsch is also good in his return as well; and some of the new characters are pretty decent as well.
Overall, Independence Day 2 definitely falls short of its predecessor, but it still has its moments--most of them in the second half of the movie. Fans of the first movie should be mostly pleased (as long as they know what to expect), and fans of sci-fi who are willing to not take things too seriously will likely be entertained as well. More serious filmgoers will not likely find much to enjoy beyond an isolated moment or two. It's not a smash hit the way the first one was, but it delivers more or less what you were probably expecting. It succeeds in its own right, for the most part.