Independence Day: Resurgence, director Roland Emmerich‘s sequel to the 1996 hit blockbuster, is hitting theaters this weekend with disappointing reviews.

Twenty years after the world – led by Will Smith – fended off an alien invasion, said aliens are back, smarter and stronger than ever. Despite a new global defense program designed to fend off such an occurrence, the world finds itself ill-equipped to handle the onslaught of alien attacks.

Independence Day: Resurgence Reviews

Emmerich’s trip back into the world of Independence Day has not been well-received by film’s top critics. While the visuals of destruction, a hallmark of all disaster movies, are serviceable, there’s nothing to elevate them. Landmarks are toppled, protagonists escape ruin despite the odds – but it feels like a retread of what was done before, and, unfortunately, pales in comparison.

“From the metallic shell of the 1996 smash “Independence Day,” director Roland Emmerich has pulled a seriously lousy sequel, dripping with alien goo and incoherence. I take no pleasure in reporting this news, folks. I’ve been a lonely, half-mad defender of some of Emmerich’s cheesiest cheese, including “10,000 B.C.” But “Independence Day: Resurgence” is the Emmerich movie his fiercest detractors always said he could manage, if he put his mindlessness to it.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“Look, this isn’t supposed to be Serious Cinema. I get that. I also know that there is a cinematic place for over-the-top action. I also know that it doesn’t have to be stupid, because I saw “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Some people will doubtless flock to this because stuff gets blowed up real good (though not the same landmarks as in the original). These are the same people who, for reasons I can’t fathom, talk about the first “Independence Day” like it was some kind of alien-invasion “Citizen Kane” or something. It wasn’t. But it was smarter and more fun than this.” – Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

“Hey, the White House finally makes it through an Independence Day movie. The rest of the sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence is a real disaster and amounts to a completely unneeded follow-up to the entertaining original 20 years ago. Returning director Roland Emmerich’s film checks all the appropriate boxes — wanton destruction, malevolent aliens, B-movie dialogue, rampant silliness — but the old charm just isn’t there anymore.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today

“The first “Independence Day’’ was a lot of fun, with a great lines and cutting-edge special effects. It was much imitated, so the sequel plays like a faded, eighth-generation copy with a cast that’s shooting blanks when it comes to humor. There isn’t a singular memorable scene — like Smith punching out the alien in the first time — or any shot like the destruction of the White House the first time around. And demolishing cities like London is getting really old.The story is a patchwork of plot elements that don’t fit together, and the film is so badly edited that it somehow feels twice as long as the original, even though it’s actually half an hour shorter. The design elements look like they were recycled from a dozen other blockbusters.” – Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Independence Day: Resurgence, which stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward and more, is currently in wide release.