Film scores

Soundtrack review: Independence day – resurgence ( Harald Kloser and Thomas Wander – 2016)

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“Independence Day: Resurgence” is a 2016 American science fiction disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich. It is the sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day. It stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Angelababy, Sela Ward and William Fichtner. Twenty years after the events of the first film, the international community recovers and the United Nations creates the Earth Space Defense (ESD), a united global defense program that serves as Earth’s early warning system. However, the aliens were able to send a distress signal to their other battalions before their final defeat while others went into hiding elsewhere around the world as they headed by the Alien Queen.The aliens in deep space received the signal and sent a larger and more powerful battle fleet, threatening the human race once more.

Unfortunately David Arnold who wrote a legendary score for the first movie was not back as Roland Emerich now prefers Harald Kloser as a composer. Thomas Wander co-wrote the score. I must admit that being such a fan of the original my expectations for this one weren’t very high but of course I approached it with an open mind. I am pleasantly surprised by the very dark and piercing overture. I am encouraged by how “Great speech” actually connects with the first score with the fantasy Danny Elfman meets a military theme sound.  The first few cues are dominated by a dark suspenseful sound that doesn’t announce anything good but also delays the action parts. “More simulation” seems to be the start of the exciting section of the score.

The score flows quite nicely. I am enjoying listening to it and following the story it tells. I like it when a cue like “Fear” breaks the silence and builds up into an inspiring theme that reminds me what the movie was about. I like the nods to the original movie, atmosphere wise, from the electric danger of a cue like “The friendly spaceship” to the emotion in “The only family I got”. The composers actually did a great job in keeping the franchise tied with their composition. Often I find myself recognizing the “ID4” music even without the epic factor of the first score.

While not as fun and spectacular as its predecessor, “Independence Day – Resurgent” is a solid and enjoyable action score. I wish it had longer tracks because with too many 1 or 2 minute long pieces is hard to have complex and memorable themes and I wished the composers had dared more with their music. They did however return to David Arnold’s themes a couple of times and the end. I liked this score more than I was expecting and I will definitely come back to it. For me it’s Harald Kloser’s best score yet.  Watch out for the inspirational action build ups.

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 45

Album excellence: 56%

Highlights:

Great Speech

More Stimulation

Fear

Welcome to the Moon

It’s Getting Real

It’s a Trap

Whitmore’s Choice

Humanity’s Last Stand

Bus Chase

We are Rich (with David Arnold)

Independence Day Resurgence Finale

ID4 Reprise (David Arnold)

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

1 Comment

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  • I found this soundtrack very lacking. Gone are the rousing themes inspired by John Williams, and replaced by Temp-Music sounding pieces without much memorable elements. Not impressed at all and not fitting the series.