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Alien Resurrection

movie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Alien Resurrection

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Rated: R
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: November 1997
Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller


*Also starring: Ron Perlman, Dominique Pinon, Michael Wincott, Dan Hedaya, Brad Douriff, J. E. Freeman, Raymond Cruz, Kim Flowers



Review by Walter Frith
1½ stars out of 4

One thing you have to give the entire 'Alien' series credit for is the fact that they are all vastly different. Four different directors have injected their vision of horror in space battling ugly creatures of unspeakable strength. Ridley Scott got the ball rolling in 1979 with 'Alien' and chose a very relaxed and later tension filled pace in which the main characters get eliminated one by one. As a visionary piece of film making it was genuinely original but as a character study and a film of plotting, it was shallow. James Cameron picked things up in 1986 with 'Aliens' and Cameron had two things to his advantage. First, he also wrote the script to it which gave him latitude to invent things at anytime on the set and secondly, he challenged the intellectual aspects of the first film by moving 180 degrees the other way and giving the audience a spectacular roller coaster ride of soldiers creating their own demise by underestimating their enemy. Again, the main characters get eliminated one by one and the few survivors that remain give the film a better ending than the first film. Unfortunately the third film, 'Alien 3' from 1992 had a former music video director (David Fincher) at the helm and the film suffered from dizzying camera work too incoherent for its own good and a feeling of dreadful torment which instead of entertaining the audience, it merely gave them an opportunity to see how the story of Ellen Ripley would come to an end. It had some good moments but for an intended end to a classic film trilogy it was no classic itself. Proof of its failure as an appropriate way to end things is found in a fourth film which tries to redeem the series and end things once and for all.

'Alien Resurrection' is directed by by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and is written by Joss Whedon and I'm sorry to say that it is a major disappointment. It chooses a straight forward formula path in which to tell its story. A covert government operation in space is breeding a new batch of the horrible creatures and little is known about them by this crew who believe they can contain them in chambers for experimental study. The corrupt general in charge (Dan Hedaya) of the space station operation sells out to a band of space travelers who are criminals of a terrorist proportion. Ron Perlman (t.v.'s 'Beauty and the Beast') is the most slimy and potentially dangerous of the band and Winona Ryder is portrayed as one of the gang as well and she is badly casted in a role not suited for her talents. Naturally, the creatures get loose and all hell breaks loose again and a group of people battles to survive in an unoriginal manner which we've seen three times before.

Sigourney Weaver who played Ripley in the first three films and who died in the third one is cloned here with some DNA from the creatures she battles and her character of the new Ripley this time is unattractive and robotic at best. Her leadership is badly needed in this film and I found her character could have been better written. On the plus side, this film looks great and has the usual computerized special effects which are now standard procedure for movies and the technical aspects all around are impressive but its attempt to redeem itself from the failure of the third film is only mildly successful and its shallow attempt at continuing the story that should have been laid to rest long ago is painfully obvious.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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