Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written by: Joss Whedon
Weapon of Choice: Vacuum
Based upon: Original
Other movies in this series:
Rish Outfield's reviews
In my review of Alien³, I mentioned that a good sequel takes the characters or situations of its predecessor in a new direction, while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original. Well, Alien 4 does go in a new direction, but that is straight down. As much as I hate the idea of Alien³, I appreciated the humanity in the film, which was something the first two films certainly had--especially in its central character of Ellen Ripley. One of my problems with that film was that it went away from the action and positivity of the second film, and echoed the starkness and horror of the first. Well, Alien: Resurrection manages to head in the action-filled direction of Aliens, but sticks to the cold, repugnant feel of Alien³. Even more, it takes the Ripley character and removes the best thing about her--her human vulnerability. Now there isn't a single sympathetic character in the film.
It has some cool special effects and some really sick violence though. I saw it on opening day in 1997, excited and hopeful. I left the theater sick to my stomach and a little depressed. I will not see it again.
NOTE: In reading through tyranist's review, I have to concede that perhaps, looking only at budget and gore, it was a fairly good sci-fi/horror film. But the fact of the matter is, it isn't just a typical sci-fi/horror film--it is an "Alien" film. And that raises the stakes. A sequel to a great movie means it has a certain legacy and standard to live up to. The "Star Wars" prequels couldn't just be good . . . they had to be GREAT, or the fans would pitch a fit and thirst for blood. [Wait. A lot of "Star Wars" fans did exactly that . . . - tyranist] The release of The Phantom Menace really proved that. In the case of the "Alien" films, though certainly viewed under different criteria, Alien 4 had to at least be AS good as Alien³. And it wasn't. And yes, Leprechaun: In Space WAS awful, but it was not following three films that were good.
The tyranist's thoughts
When this hit screens in 1997, I remember the general outcry. People went to see this movie and hated it. I believe that they were simply never willing to like it. I mean, come on. It follows two fo the greatest science fiction/horror movies ever made. It is virtually impossible for it to match up.
For those of us who kept an open mind and were willing to give them a shot, it was a pretty decent action/horror film. It wasn't great, but it was fun to watch and wasn't all bad. Think about it this way. If you watch this and say Leprechaun 4: In Space, it will be undeniably clear how good Alien: Resurrection is.
They set it 200 years after the last entry, which allows them to basically do everything differently. The Company is no longer a factor for instance. So they've resurrected the aliens and Ripley along with them. Fortunately for all humanity, one lone girl knows what's going on and wants to stop it.
I've been a fan of Sigourney Weaver's since the original. This is a departure from her traditional Ripley, but she carries it well. She is creepy and more than a little alien herself. I've loved Winona Ryder since Heathers and she does pretty well here. The rest of the cast was pretty typical "Alien" riff-raff.
See this one. Please. It's better than you think. Although, I would probably not recommend watching them all back to back. That would highlight the weaknesses in the last two and they really don't deserve that.
Total Skulls: 11
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood hits camera|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|