Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, J.E. Freeman, Brad Dourif
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written By: Joss Whedon
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 49 min
The fourth and last movie in the original Alien franchise has Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) reborn as a clone two hundred years after the events cataloged in Alien 3. That might seem a bit of a stretch, but in my humble opinion, having Ripley come back as a clone in a science fiction story set hundreds of years from now is completely acceptable, and shouldn’t be open to debate.
This time around we have the self-taught director of Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children, Jean-Pierre Jeunet at the helm, and none other than the now legendary Joss Whedon penning the script. Which was interesting to me, as Resurrection predates Joss Whedon’s fantastic Firefly TV show and movie, but also has a ragtag gang of space pirates making a questionable delivery no questions asked for cold hard cash.
That delivery is made to a top-secret military science vessel which has designs on breeding a small group of aliens to experiment on. What could possibly go wrong?
Well of course the aliens escape, and what follows is mostly a by the numbers creature feature similar to others that were inspired by the success of the first two Alien movies. Scared sweaty men and women we hardly know being picked off one by one by the nasty beasts. How bog standard this all felt though was surprising considering the director involved, and I strongly suggest you watch Delicatessen at some point in your movie watching life so you’ll know what I’m getting at. Perhaps the move from France to the Hollywood movie machine didn’t sit well with Jean-Pierre. Or the combination of Jean-Pierre’s directing style and the uneven screenplay by Joss Whedon didn’t click, but there’s very little in Resurrection that makes it stand out from the other films in this genre.
However, it’s not all completely formulaic creature feature nonsense as there are some interesting developments in regards to Ripley’s character. Not so much emotionally this time around, but certainly fascinating as the story blends the genetic code of humans and aliens, resulting in some great moments and a fresh new look at Ripley and the relationship between her and the other characters in the story.
There are very few real attempts to scare the audience in this film, but it is very disgusting at times with lots of blood, acid, slime and alien saliva evident. It’s not as scary as Alien or as visually interesting as Alien 3, and it doesn’t have the solid pace of Aliens.
It’s mostly a solidly made film, but some of the exterior shots of the military science vessel looked low budget to me. A HD viewing at home on your TV will service this film well enough. There is a special edition of this movie available that adds about 7 minutes to the running time. The changes will really only interest the hard core Alien franchise fans, as there’s nothing in the extra footage that changes the overall story.
I have two favorite moments in Alien Resurrection. The first is the very rough basket ball game Ripley plays with the pirate crew.
The second is this section of dialog:
Purvis: [shouting] What’s in-f#@%ing-side me?
Ripley: There’s a monster in your chest. These guys hijacked your ship, and they sold your cryo tube to this… human. And he put an alien inside of you. It’s a really nasty one. And in a few hours it’s gonna burst through your ribcage, and you’re gonna die. Any questions?
Purvis: Who are you?
Ripley: [smiles] I’m the monster’s mother.