Sunday, October 12, 2014

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

The fourth entry in the Alien franchise is both interesting and quite disappointing.  Directed by French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, it has a decent enough script by Joss Whedon (though not great, mind you), fantastic production design and a nice batch of character actors who manage a few nice moments here and there when they're not being ripped apart by horrible monsters.

Set 200 years after the third movie, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been cloned by a bunch of scientists including the always amusing Brad Dourif on a military spaceship commanded by General Perez, played hammily by Dan Hedaya.  A bunch of mercenaries including Winona Ryder and Ron Perlman deliver a shipment to the General who is trying to breed the aliens for research purposes and of course, they get loose and a butt load of people are bloodily killed.

Weaver is good as Ripley, this time she delivers a more colder, alien version of the character.  Fitting, since in the beginning we see the chestburster she was infected with in the third movie removed and it turns out she now has an empathic bond with the beasts as a result as well as enhanced physical abilities...

Yeah.

The rest of the cast is okay, though not as good as one would hope.  Ryder is bland, the revelation that she's an android isn't much of a shock seeing as she's sort of mechanical in her acting anyway.  Ron Perlman is sorely underused and Dan Hedaya turns in a rather dreadful performance, hamming it up in a manner that is almost as repulsive as the sight of him in a tank top.  Seriously, I like the guy as an actor but the amount of body hair he has pretty much proves Darwin's theory of evolution.  He's got a funny death scene though, not too often you see a guy take out part of his brain and look at it after having his head cracked open by an alien.

On the other hand, Brad Dourif is nicely odd as the mad scientist who brought Ripley back.  There is a fun bit where he's trying to train some aliens, which he does and the facial expressions he makes are so bizarre that they end up working in spite of themselves.

Even with the bad acting and somewhat dodgy script, the film manages to entertain on a basic level.  Like the third film, it has a great look and some nice scenes (the underwater sequence is fun and Weaver has a nice scene where she finds the failed clones of her and the alien/human hybrid at the end is an interesting failure) but on a fundamental level, it just doesn't quite cut it.  It's fun, but not really essential.  A fun bad movie if you're in the right frame of mind.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.