Twenty years ago, scores of movie-goers flocked to the first “Independence Day” film, making it the highest-grossing film of 1996. Hailed as the comeback of Sci-Fi on the big screen, it was a solid movie with cutting edge practical effects (i.e. real explosions instead of computer generated) and a wealth of unique and memorable performances from the actors.

“Independence Day: Resurgence” is a study in the failure of the film industry to properly capitalize on nostalgia, disappointing fans around the globe, and most likely costing the studio hundreds of millions of dollars for an over-produced, badly written flop.

“Resurgence” opens 20 years after the first invasion. The global devastation incurred those years ago has united the earth together in an effort to strengthen the planet’s defenses against another attack.

Science gleaned from the defeated alien’s crafts has allowed earth’s scientists to fast forward our own technology, and the solar system now plays host to several defensive space bases, including one one earth’s moon.

As the story unfolds, a mysterious craft appears ominously before the moon base, and hovers near it. Having prepared for another invasion for years, the world powers quickly decide to fire upon it.

David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is called in to investigate this new craft, and soon it becomes clear that the harvester aliens are returning, this time to finish the job the first wave 20 years earlier failed to accomplish, total annihilation of planet earth.

“Resurgence” not only fails to be a decent stand-alone movie, it does a disservice to the original, helplessly depleting the themes, actors, and premises from the first movie in an attempt to re-create its success.

A tremendous amount of effort was spent on visual effects, many of which are stunning. However, with b-movie level dialogue and hapless wandering character development, this movie remains a lifeless husk of what could have been a great film.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and destruction and for some language.