Alien: Resurrection (1997)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox Collector's Edition)
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Overall Rating 57%
Overall Rating
Ranked #724
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Connections: Alien

200 years after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/alien hybrid clone. Along with a crew of space pirates, she must again battle the deadly aliens and stop them from reaching Earth. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: September 10, 2006
Five years prior to the release of this film, we were "treated" to the "wonderful" Alien³. The movie tanked at the box office, most of the fans of this series hated it, and the storyline killed off all of the important characters. With the alien threat destroyed, the leading character of the series deceased, and with a less-than-stellar reception from fans, you'd think that the Alien series would have come to a screeching halt, right? Well, that's not how it works in Hollywood.

Picking up over two hundred years after the events of the last movie, we find that Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been cloned thanks to a drop of blood that she left inside the ship during her outing on the prison planet. If you'll recall, she was the host for an alien queen from the very beginning of that movie, so it should come as no surprise why they wanted to clone her; after all, these stupid humans of the future are desperate to get their hands on a couple of xenomorphs for research purposes. Their plan is a success: on the eighth try, Ripley has been successfully cloned with the alien queen intact, and to open the movie, we witness a team of scientists led by Jonathan Gediman (Brad Dourif) extracting the fetus-like alien from Ripley's chest. The plan is to allow Ripley (who has most of her memories intact) to live and to cage the queen so that it can produce some eggs and breed a couple dozen alien beings for these scientists to research. Of course, these movie plans never seem to work out, and it doesn't take long before the aliens are running loose on this ship. Adding some fire-power to the ship is a team of mercenaries who were hired to bring aboard some lowly humans for the facehuggers to inhabit. Among this group is Annalee Call (Winona Ryder), Johner (Ron Perlman), and a couple of other typical roles (the mechanic, the marksman, the greedy captain, etc) to fill out the casting requirements.

While Alien³ seems to be hated by most fans of the series, it's an almost unanimous vote when it comes to Alien: Resurrection. Now, it's nowhere near as good as the first two movies, but it does have its own little charm. Granted, the "resurrection" of Ripley was a bit hokey and I have to admit that they went a little overboard with the maternal / mother theme of the movie, but overall, it was entertaining enough and it certainly wasn't the abomination that most make it out to be.

Thanks to her having served as a host for the alien queen, it's explained, Ripley now has a sort of motherly-bond with the aliens. She still wants to kill them off, of course, but she appears to waver between sorrow and glee when it comes to disposing of these killing machines. This is one of the low points of the film, in my opinion, as I felt that they should have stuck with one or the other. In one scene, Ripley demolishes an alien being and matter-of-factly proclaims that "it was in her way" before carrying on with her business. A few scenes later, she's damned near kissing an alien and seems highly upset that they have to die. Having her eventually side with the aliens would have been quite interesting, and having her resume her alien-ass kicking persona would have been fine as well; however, the mixture that Jean-Pierre Jeunet captured on film didn't work out in the end.

Much like Ripley being a hybrid human-alien, this film also seems to be a hybrid of the previous three movies in the series. Whereas Alien was mostly a horror flick, Aliens was mostly action, and Alien³ was more of a dark drama, Alien: Resurrection is a mixture of all of the above with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. Merging these genres managed to produce an entertaining film, thankfully, but I can't help but think that sticking to just one or two of them would have produced a much tighter storyline with a more satisfying movie being the final result. The special effects used for the aliens themselves have also dramatically improved since the previous film, not that they could have gotten much worse, so that also worked in the favor of the (for now) final entry in the Alien saga.

Overall, it doesn't deserve all of the hate that it gets from the critics, but it's certainly not in the same league as the original two films either. If you've enjoyed the series so far, picking up the fourth film certainly couldn't hurt and will, in my eyes, produce another solid couple of hours in front of the tube even if it is nothing truly memorable. 6/10.
Vash #1: Vash - added September 12, 2006 at 12:02am
honestly i was a big fan of this movie. id probably give it a 7.5/10 but thats just because im a sucker for this series. i agree with most of what you said, and the character incongruencies are definitely an issue, but i think the overall vibe of the movie is highly enjoyable. ron perlman's character alone made it worth watching for me. it's the most lighthearted and straightforward of all of them, and while i agree it isnt anywhere near the first two in terms of quality, it blows the third POS out of the water, and is a much more fitting end for the series imo.

on another note, have you ever read the aliens comics from darkhorse? if youre in alien mode, which you seem to be given the reviews for all four, id highly reccomend you check it out. it basically takes place after aliens [i think it was written in the late 80s] and focuses on newt and hudson [or hicks, i can never remember] and their lives back on earth after they come back from cold soak. ripley isnt even in it for the first few issues, but its a WAY better sequel to the first two than the third movie ever was.
Chad #2: Chad - added September 12, 2006 at 12:21am
Indeed, I was a Dark Horse whore back in my comic-collecting days. Robocop vs Terminator, Alien vs Predator, Batman vs Predator, and the... shit, what was it, seven or eight different Alien series they put out? Some damned good stuff in those "funny books" (bonus points if you catch that reference).
Crispy #3: Crispy - added September 12, 2007 at 11:01am
And let's not forget Alien vs. Predator vs. Terminator.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added September 12, 2007 at 11:29am
Doesn't deserve all the hate? DOESN'T DESERVE ALL THE HATE? This film was beyond dreadful, compared to the previous three. Maybe, stand alone, it would not be so bad, but when you compare it to the previous films, it's just plain awful. Not even Sigourney Weaver looks like she wants to be here. Ridley Scott, James Cameron and David Fincher all brought something unique and something original to their entries, but this film really doesn't have anything close to that because the director lacks both the nuance and the talent to make it so. "Alien: Resurrection", by itself, gets a 6/10 from me, but when compared with the three previous films and how great they were, it gets a 4/10.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added September 12, 2007 at 11:40am
What's sad is that this film was directed by the same guy who directed "Amelie" and "A Very Long Engagement". Maybe if he directed this film now -- now that he's found a narrative style of his own -- maybe it would be a totally different kind of film, and better.
Greg Follender #6: Greg Follender - added August 25, 2008 at 2:24am
He also directed the magnificent "Delicatessen" before this...
What the Hell happened?

I found this movie to be a symphony of missed opportunities... and terrible dialogue.
There were some truly great moments... but each one was framed squarely between sequences that beggared intelligent explanation. A golden turd to be sure...
Tristan #7: Tristan - added August 29, 2008 at 9:02pm
How does the man who brought us The City of Lost Children end up making something as bad as this? It's just not fair to us. Amelie? Delicatessen? Things just don't add up. 5/10
Nirrad #8: Nirrad - added August 29, 2008 at 10:12pm
Lucid Dreams #9: Lucid Dreams - added July 11, 2010 at 2:35am
I agree with meanie that if this was a stand alone it would have probably done better. 5/10
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