Alien: Resurrection

06  MAR
Witness the resurrection.

Directed by  Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written by  Joss Whedon
Starring:  Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Ripley)
Winona Ryder (Annalee Call)
Dominique Pinon (Vriess)
Ron Perlman (Johner)
Dan Hedaya (Gen. Perez)
Runtime: 108 minutes
Two hundred years after Ellen Ripley died trying to eliminate the Alien species, they brought her back from blood samples taken earlier. It took several tries, and un-fortunate failures to get it right, but they weren't interested in Ellen Ripley- they wanted the alien inside her; and they got it, but they got more than they bargained for. When the aliens grew smart, they broke out of their enclosures. When the crew tried to run, they killed them. And when the Queen's secret was revealed, it exposed a bizare DNA mix-up that left both Ripley and the queen's genetics intertwined; giving light to a new alien that could spell certain doom for Earth. - Davi

The Alien saga is a rare example where the sequels are not much worse than the original. I liked Alien for its great setting and the novelty of the plot although it had a few problems and some ingenuous elements in the story. Aliens was even better, I enjoyed the basic idea of the plot and the story seemed a bit more solid. In Alien 3 the ideas seemed to lack a bit, it was more or less a copy of the first movie with a few novelties and with a good finale which seemed to definitely close the saga.

Alien: Resurrection has the important merit of being able to continue and (literally) revitalize the Alien story and the character of Ripley without ruining them. The idea to clone Ripley with her DNA mixed with the alien one is not a novelty but it does function and produces a new character which looks quite different from the one seen in the previous episodes: the new Ripley is stronger, her blood is a bit like acid (much less than the alien's blood, though!), her senses are more acute and she has a strange relationship with the aliens...

As the story develops in a way that can be seen as a mix between Alien and Aliens, there are a few unexpected happenings which keep a constant level of interest. The characters are all engaging and the actors are effective, starting from Sigourney Weaver which is as good as ever. Only the character played by Winona Rider didn't always seem to match the surrounding atmosphere, probably she wasn't suited for this part.

Sometimes the dialogues are a bit too witty considering the situation but they are still acceptable given that there are only a couple of jokes on Ripley's previous death... What I really found irritating was the need to have some characters to explain what happened or what was going on, both at the beginning to describe Ripley's cloning and near the end to clarify the mutation happened to the aliens. A voice-over would have been even worse but I also don't approve a character whose only purpose in a scene is to shed light on some possibly obscure part of the narration.

Another thing I didn't really liked are a couple of senseless and unlikely action scenes but these can be forgiven in the global context of the movie. The final alien and his somewhat silly death can also be criticised... I still liked the idea of a completely different kind of alien although it looked a bit too much like a low-cost puppet made for a B-movie and the way he has been killed is definitely flawed.

In the end, while this movie is probably the worst of the series, it is a good starting level for a renewal of the saga which I hope will continue with a fifth episode. By removing the minor faulty details of the plot, the movie would have been better, the new characters do work (with some scepticism on Winona Ryder) and the Alien universe still has many potentialities to develop.

Rating: 7.2  ***

Links:  Official Site




© Copyright Sergio Monesi, 1997-1999.
Last updated: 25 Jun 1999