Director – Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Cast – Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers, Dan Hedaya, J.E. Freeman, Brad Dourif, Raymond Cruz, Leland Orser
Release Year – 1997
Reviewed by John of the Dead
As an avid fan of the Alien series, I really cannot get enough of these films. While Alien 3 failed to hit as hard as the first two entries(Alien, Aliens), it still gave me what I wanted to see, as did this film…Alien: Resurrection. Giving us good alien action in a film that moves very well, Alien: Resurrection is a step up from Alien 3, and I believe it gives us Alien fans what we want to see in this positive effort.
200 years after the events of Alien 3, which includes Ripley’s death, she is successfully cloned by a military contractor who plans to use the alien queen inside of her for their evil bidding. The queen is successfully cloned along with Ripley, although there has been a genetic crossover between the two. Ripley now has alien characteristics, and the alien queen has now attained certain human characteristics. A group of mercenaries has been contracted by the contractor to hijack a ship containing scientists in deep cryogenesis, who they plan to use as hosts for a new batch of aliens. The mercenaries have a plan of their own, and while they manage to hijack the mothership, the quick-learning aliens are able to escape their cages and wreak havoc upon all those they come across. With the military and mercenaries at war with one another, and a slew of aliens lead by an even more powerful alien queen, Ripley must once again fight the alien race she has spent nearly 300 years trying to defeat.
Unlike Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection continues to add new elements to the series, which at first came off a bit fishy to me but judging by the end product I must say that these new elements/ideas worked very well for the film. Written by the same man who wrote Toy Story, Joss Whedon, we get a unique idea in that the film is set many more years into the future, and we get a cloned Ripley. I found some faults with the cloned Ripley at times, mainly due to her not being the usual Ripley we have seen in the previous films, but a cold and somewhat robotic character that I found unlikable at times, but once the carnage gets going she kicks ass regardless of her state of mind and eventually turns to her original self. I did enjoy that Mr. Whedon incorporated a genetic crossover in which Ripley and the queen alien exchanged abilities, which I found mostly enjoyable in regards to the alien queen given it allowed her to…birth an alien/human hybrid. The idea was great, and it added a nice touch to a series that after Alien 3 was starting to get a bit redundant with its alien usage. We get quite a few colorful characters thrown in as well, which came mainly from the group of mercenaries that board the military vessel. Each had their own unique personality, unique usage of weapons, and possessed the ability to kick a lot of ass, so what’s not to like about them? Oh, and they each come portrayed by some pretty favorable actors, but I’ll get into that later. The film paces very well, and gives us 105 minutes of good action and non-stop developments to keep the viewer engaged. All in all, I can imagine that Alien: Resurrection did not come with the anticipation of AVP: Alien vs. Predator debuting 7 years later in 2004, which to me leaves Alien: Resurrection as the final piece to the Alien saga, and thankfully comes with a very satisfying climax as well.
Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet(Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children) does a fantastic job bringing his film to screen, and had me engaged in everything that was going on right from the get-go. His camerawork is good, his sets are fantastic(as usual with these films), and he delivers lots of action and alien carnage as well. He settled for very few CGI effects and instead gave us lots of live-action aliens, including the two giant aliens we get in the film, and delivered some heavy amounts of live-action gore as well, always a plus. His usage of the film’s colorful characters also helped sell the film to me, giving us the always fantastic Ron Perlman(Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, I Sell The Dead, Blade II), my favorite CSI tech Gary Dourdan(Perfect Stranger), the shoplifting Winona Ryder(Dracula), and the usually crazy Michael Wincott as the film’s only mercenary bound to a wheel chair(one of the fun elements written into the film by Joss Whedon). I mentioned earlier that the pacing was very good, and it comes not only from Joss Whedon’s positive screenplay but from great direction by Jean-Pierre Jeunet as well. The tension reins high in this flick, and this being a step above Alien 3 made this a satisfying closure to this infamous horror franchise.
Overall, this is a very positive addition to the Alien franchise that delivers heavily on the alien carnage and throws many other forms of great action as well. A unique story coupled with great direction made this a good way to end the series, and leave us Alien fans with a satisfying grin.