STARRING: 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

1997, 108 Minutes, Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

alienres.jpg (8761 bytes)Description: This chapter is set even further in the future, where scientists on a space colony have cloned both the alien and Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), who died in Alien 3; in doing so, however, they've mixed alien DNA with Ripley's human chromosomes, which gives Ripley surprising power (and a bad attitude). A band of smugglers comes aboard only to discover the new race of aliens--and when the multi-mouthed melonheads get loose, no place is safe. But, on the plus side, they have Ripley as a guide to help them get out. Winona Ryder is on hand as the smugglers' most unlikely crew member (with a secret of her own). -

The plot is as old as they come: take a group of people and let them be chased around by one or more vicious monsters.

It was practically invented by the first Alien movie back in 1979. Today it is the staple formula behind many a sci-fi action movie: The Relic, The Lost World, Mimic, Predator - you name it. Now, many years later it is only obvious that the fourth film in the series would follow the same formula.

Been there, done that, you might say but the truth is that there are only so many plots in the movies. After all, it’s not a case of what story you tell, but how you tell it.

"Not exactly as good as Aliens and the first movie in the series . . ."

The Alien franchise has always had a few edges over its imitators: firstly, there’s the incredible Sigourney Weaver (she’s really good), and secondly there’s the truly original and frightening creatures designed by HR Giger.

Alien Resurrection makes decent use of the various elements at its disposal. Aliens showed what could be done with the material and Alien 3 just somehow never managed to completely pull it all together.

In this latest installment French director Jean-Pierre (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children) Jeunet has crafted an action film that owes more to Hong Kong action meister John Woo than to the previous installments at times, but it all works out reasonably well in the end.

Plus, the film has a self-assured visual sense and some action set sequences are quite well done.

This is not to say the film is without its faults: the plot is still pretty old and at the start (like one did with those old disaster movies) one hedges one's bets on who is going to survive and who isn't. (Hint: usually the most anonymous cast members get it.) There're also the obligatory plot holes and some muddled scenes that doesn't make much sense. Most of the science in the film is also dubious.

Alien Resurrection can be filed under more action-packed than Alien 3, but not as good as Aliens and the first Alien movie.


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