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Independence Day: Resurgence by Thomas Wander & Harald Kloser (Review)

posted Jul 6, 2016, 8:28 AM by Kaya Savas

Independence Day is one of those amazing summer blockbusters born in the 90’s that simply was tons of fun. Roland Emmerich blew up a bunch of monuments, dramatic lines were spoken, mixtures of practical and CGI effects, and an awesome score from David Arnold which made everything work. Roland Emmerich had a nice little streak going with David Arnold until the two parted ways on The Patriot. The Austrian duo of Thomas Wander & Harold Kloser took over as his go-to big budget composers. Kloser also working as a writer and producer on Emmerich’s films. Kloser didn’t work on the script for Resurgence, but he was a producer on the film. The duo attempt their best to re-create that 90’s flair that David Arnold succeeded at and make it work for today's audiences.

Independence Day: Resurgence is a decent score, but it’s not a great one. It tries very hard to capture that heroic spirit from the first one yet make it more “modern” by forcing the music to be dark and brooding. It’s a standard brass and strings score that hardly sounds unique given that the film lacks a strong main theme. Everything here is effective and efficient in delivering what the music needs to be delivering, so the overall journey does becomes a satisfying one. There are some nice orchestral builds here and there for the action set pieces, and that orchestral sound does indeed help the experience feel a bit “old fashioned”. That and the overall feel of the melodic builds. In the end though everything feels oddly familiar, especially when David Arnold’s original suite is tacked on at the end as a reminder to be like “oh yeah, here’s the much better score you actually remember”.

Was this film needed? No, it’s just another example of studios digging the bottom of the barrel to appeal to nostalgia and not have to buy rights to any new properties. But it’s still a nice diversion (both movie and score). Independence Day: Resurgence has some good old fashioned orchestral fun fused with the modern stylings of today’s blockbusters. I’m sure newer audiences will discover this and then revisit the classic original, which by now seems part of the time capsule that is the 90’s. The film and music try to capture some of that 90’s spirit while making everything brooding and serious, in the end it just makes us miss David Arnold’s music. But it’s still an entertaining ride that delivers the action goods even if the score is thematically weak when compared to the original.