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Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Witness the resurrection

Directed by:

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

As underwhelming as the third instalment of the ‘Alien’ series was, you can at least understand why the temptation to make it was so great. The reasoning behind green-lighting this after-thought of a movie, on the other hand, is completely flummoxing.

After all, the key character – Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) – died at the end of the last one, along with any real avenue along which the franchise could credibly be kept alive. So, in order to bring Weaver into the story, we’re whisked 200 years on from ‘Alien3‘, where scientists aboard a military spacecraft have successfully(ish) cloned Ripley using blood samples from one of her many scuffles.

The plan? To get the alien queen out of her body and use it to create a snarling pack of said beasties for their own non-specified but doubtlessly stupid motives. Needless to say, this creates a couple of problems. For one thing, the new Ripley’s got a touch of alien DNA in her system which means that, as well as suddenly being incredibly good at basketball, she’s gone a bit loopy. And not like in ‘Aliens’ where the folks back on Earth just THOUGHT she was loopy. This time, she genuinely is as mad as a hatter.

An even bigger problem is that, inevitably, the aliens break loose, wreak havoc, and Ripley’s left with only a gang of space mercenaries (among them Winona Ryder) to help her restore order. Cue the usual array of chase scenes, swearies, and frenzied shooting at nothing in particular.

‘Amelie’ director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (in case you couldn’t guess from the name, he’s French) adds little that hasn’t already been covered to vastly superior effect in one of the previous outings. Except for sporadic instances of boredom, perhaps.

Weaver, meanwhile, seems wholly uncomfortable with some of the lines she’s expected to deliver, especially as the new Ripley appears to have a little unexplained Schwarzenegger DNA hiding in there as well. At one point, after blasting one of the critters to Kingdom Come, she quips ‘Was it everything you’d hoped for?’. Eh? Let’s face it, that doesn’t even make sense.

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It's Got: One seriously ugly baby – definitely one that only a mother could love.

It Needs: Not to be compared to either of the first two movies – they really don’t deserve it.

DVD Extras Original theatrical trailer and a behind-the-scenes featurette. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Alien, Alien3, Aliens

Summary

Visually impressive, but too much of it is contrived and totally far-fetched – making it effectively the binary opposite of the original movie. Here is a prime example of a franchise that should have quit while it was ahead.

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