Thursday, May 18, 2017

Movie Review: "Alien: Resurrection" (1997)

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Movie"Alien: Resurrection"
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Year: 1997
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Two hundred years after her death on 'Fury,' Ellen Ripley is cloned so the military can resurrect the queen Alien that was growing inside her, and things don't quite go as planned.

"Alien: Resurrection" is the fourth film in the "Alien" franchise. It is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who is known for his fantastic films "City of Lost Children" and the Oscar nominated "Amélie." It is written by Joss Whedon, who would go on to write films like "The Avengers" and "The Cabin in the Woods." Sigourney Weaver returns as Ellen Ripley, despite being killed off in "Alien 3." The story is able to achieve her resurrection by making this particular incarnation of Ripley a clone that has taken on some xenomorphic traits. She is resurrected by the military at a research facility in the unregulated area of space. Their ultimate goal is to clone the queen Alien that was growing inside Ripley when she died. Joining Weaver are Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman, Dominique Pinon, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, and Kim Flowers, who play a mercenary crew who sell a dozen or so people in cryostasis to be used as hosts for the xenomorph breeding program. Of course, when things go terribly wrong, the mercenaries and everyone else on the crew are left fighting for their lives because, well, the queen is back.

Here we are again with another small rag-tag crew fighting off Aliens while the pesky, nasty government wants to keep the Aliens alive and use the xenomorphs for military purposes. You think they'd learn! It is essentially the same story we got from the first three films, only now with another slightly different setting, no high stakes, and a varying number of Aliens. The main difference is this time around, the tone has changed drastically. The way the dialogue is written feels almost tongue-in-cheek with the amount of quips it has. That's Joss Whedon for you. Because of this, it feels uneven since all of the lines are delivered in a serious manner, but aren't necessarily written to be that way. Even though this incarnation of Ripley is a clone, you'd think her demeanor wouldn't change so drastically, and yet, this version of her character is almost an over the top cartoon of her former self. Even though Whedon would go on to do some very good movies, this one feels very much like a rehash of its predecessors. There is also a bit of a steampunk/space western look to the mercenary crew, which only makes the tone feel more strange.

The whole story in "Alien: Resurrection" stems off of a very contrived plot device in an already "been there, done that" franchise. Though there's certainly no lack of gore, and the visuals are quite good for the most part (with the exception of the opening CGI insect), the sequel lacks tension and spunk, is devoid of interesting characters, makes a borderline mockery of old ones, and feels mostly goofy, making it an underwhelming cinematic experience.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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