The first reviews for the $200 million ‘Independence Day’ sequel are here and they're much better than expected

independence day resurgence
independence day resurgence

20th Century Fox

The "Independence Day" sequel is storming into theaters this Friday, with a mix of familiar and fresh faces. 20 years later, director Rolland Emmerich and original 1996 cast members, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Bill Pullam, and Jeff Goldblum, are back in action alongside debuting newcomers Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher. 

There are a lot of questions about how the reported $200 million movie will perform opening weekend at the box office, especially since the biggest star from the original film, Will Smith, didn't return for the sequel.

Though most press won't see the film until the movie is in theaters Friday, some early reviews began trickling in Tuesday night for the film, and, for the most part, they're pretty positive!

Here's what critics are saying:

The visuals and alien technology are amazing, but can be overbearing and repetitive. 

Leslie Felperin at the Hollywood Reporter wrote: "The whole point of this franchise is watching a lot of alien butt get kicked, and their slimy scrawny tushes are well and truly whopped here in gloriously rendered, hyper-realistic detail. Emmerich and his visual effects teams pull out all the stops and there's a glorious abysmal beauty in never-ending shots of continent-wide spaceships landing and mayhem being wreaked."

Lucy O'Brien at IGN said, "Once again this is all about a giant mothership levelling cities, but this time the mothership is much, much bigger and the destruction more grandiose. Resurgence throws out disaster after disaster: there’s a tidal wave, a flood, and in the film’s most impressive effect, a gravitational pull that sees thousands of extras being lifted helplessly off the ground."

Jamie Graham at Games Radar agreed: "It’s certainly hard not to drown in the sea of CGI, with the exponential increase of pixels being to Independence Day what the Star Wars prequels were to the original trilogy."

independence day jeff goldblum
independence day jeff goldblum

20th Century Fox

The plot is largely disappointing, but critics agree that Jeff Goldblum, at least, is a standout. 

Dan Jolin at Empire wrote, "Goldblum, more than anyone here, is essential. While the VFX tornado swirls around us, he brings things (if you’ll excuse the phrase) down to earth, allowing us to revel in the sheer giddy movieness of it all, and thereby forgive the majority of its shortcomings."

Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian said, "The plot’s potentially interesting dependence on the idea that there are aliens who are allies as well as enemies is lost in a tiresomely written muddle – an all-but-plotless melee of boring digital carnage."

Luke Lancaster at CNET said, "'Resurgence' is exactly what you expect, down to the predictable story beats, the laughably earnest dialogue, the fundamental misunderstanding of science and the plot holes deep enough to reach Earth's gooey delicious center. But that's all beside the point. You should never have expected it to be anything else."

Overall, it's a blockbuster summer movie. Go into the theaters with that in mind and you'll be fine. 

Empire's Dan Jolin said, "As spectacular as you’d hope from a sequel to the 1996 planet-toaster, and as amusingly cheesy. You’ll enjoy yourself enough that you won’t even miss Will Smith."

Lucy O'Brien from IGN summed it up as, "A silly, cheesy, spectacle-driven blockbuster with heart, Independence Day: Resurgence is a refreshing antidote to the grim and the serious sentiment we’ve seen trending in sci-fi flicks of recent years. While its plot is messy and it’s stuffed with too many characters, I dare you not to leave the theatre with a guilt-free smile on your face. "

Leslie Felperin from THR said the bottom line was that, despite its many plot problems, the movie is "utterly ridiculous but also rollicking good fun."