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Alien: Legacy (2000)

Alien: Legacy – Special Edition 20th Anniversary Dvd Boxed Set

There are some places in the universe you dont go alone

Directed by:

Ridley Scott / James Cameron / David Fincher / Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 472 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

If you’re already familiar with the ‘Alien’ tales, and don’t need to see them in chronological order to know what’s going on, take this piece of advice: watch these four movies in reverse order. Get the sub-standard ‘Alien: Resurrection’ and disappointing ‘Alien3‘ out of the way early, so you can settle down on a comfy sofa, pull the curtains closed to make sure it’s dark, and watch the good ones.

‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’ are a couple of crackers. The first one kicks off with John Hurt strolling around a strange planet and ending up with a big spidery thing clamped to his phizog. Once back aboard his own spacecraft – the Nostromo – the beastie detaches itself and it looks like everything’s going to be okay. That is, until a hissing monster bursts out of his belly and embarks upon a massive killing spree among the crew. And so an unlikely hero is born, in the shape of Sigourney Weaver as the deceptively hard Lieutenant Ellen Ripley.

The sequel replaces Ridley Scott with ‘Terminator’ bigwig James Cameron in the director’s chair, and moves from horror to action as Ripley accompanies a gang of marines on a gun-totin’ romp around the planet where the original alien was first discovered.

Unfortunately, this DVD set takes a swift nosedive in entertainment level from then on, first with the seedy prison-set ‘Alien3‘ and then the near-ridiculous tale of DNA-cloning that is ‘Alien: Resurrection’. Somewhere along the way, the series loses its original meaning, stops asking serious questions and degenerates into standardised action fare. But try not to let that detract from the first two.

See also Alien, Aliens, Alien3

It's Got: Sigourney Weaver in the role that made her career.

It Needs: Some improved DVD features for the last two films – just because they’re disappointing movies shouldn’t mean their extras have to be.

DVD Extras Discs 1 and 2 are packed with documentaries and features, but it’s as if they couldn’t be bothered putting the same effort into the extras for the final two films – which is probably quite fitting, actually. An extra fifth disc included in the set contains a 60 minute documentary in which members of the original crew talk about making ‘Alien’ 20 years on. We get to meet artist H.R. Giger, who created the alien and talks like a Transylvanian, and executive producer Ron Shusset who’s inexplicably dressed as a farmer. A programme or two talking about the series as a whole would have been a nice addition, but unfortunately there’s nothing like that here. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Summary

A nicely-packaged collector’s item which anyone who’s a fan of the series will love. Anyone else would be better off just getting the first two – that way’s cheaper, and you really wouldn’t be missing out on much.

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