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Some perspectives on Alien: Resurrection
laika-lives10 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Auteurist Perspective - The most unorthodox way of viewing this picture is as a kind of formalist exercise. Jean-Pierre Jeunet has talked about his desire to make a film tailored exactly to the format of a Hollywood action movie, even going so far as to count the number of cuts and camera set-ups in the blockbusters he watched for research. Everything in the movie may be taking place within quotation marks, as in the melodramas of Douglas Sirk or, more obliquely, Gus van Sant's 'Psycho'. The film wants to be both an archetypal big sci-fi action movie whilst simultaneously a pastiche of the form. The gorgeously overblown shot of Ripley and Call standing amid the clouds at the film's close certainly suggests a playful tweaking of blockbuster bombast. However, the 'Alien' series may not be the most appropriate place for this experiment; the series is far more defined by spaces and silences than by frenetic action of the Bruckheimer variety. Even James Cameron's 'Aliens' is surprisingly slow in its build-up; by contrast, Resurrection's relentless pace becomes oddly monotonous and the film loses the distinctive texture Jeunet brings to it.

The Whedonite Perspective - The problems with the script are mostly additions or changes to Joss Whedon's original (which is available online). Whedon rightly made Ripley's resurrection the backbone for the story, finding new things to do with a character many believed had reached the end of her life, both literally and creatively. He also carefully fleshed out the supporting characters just enough to keep them interesting. There are small problems even in his original script - Purviss is sidelined when his predicament demands imaginative exploration, and the narrative is more linear than you'd expect from this writer. But it's the feeble alterations that damage the film - reducing characters like Hillard (in particular) to cyphers, changing the ending so the audience never gets to see earth (the only place, as Whedon instinctively understood, that the climax could possibly take place), and removing a lot of the texture of the setting, like the marijuana fields. 'I'm a stranger here myself' should have been one of the great closing lines in movie history, up there with 'Tomorrow is another day' and 'Shut up and deal', but the dialogue (Whedon's great strength) is mangled by a director working in his second language, and who seems to be paying more attention to the lighting anyway.

The Cynical Perspective - The 'Alien' series is, by this point, a cash cow that everyone involved wants to milk until it bleeds. 'Alien3' ended Ripley's story with an unflinching finality that 'Resurrection' can only cheapen, no matter how good it is. The hiring of a cult french director is a sop to the critics who lionise Scott and Fincher's contributions - and whilst prior instalments were filmed in England, this production was mounted in LA, for the convenience of everyone involved. It wouldn't do to make too much of an effort on what is, after all, the latest sausage on the string. The suits' only concern is the opening weekend; hence Winona, shoehorned in just in case Sigourney's box office draw is waning.

The Aesthetic Perspective - John Frizzell's score is the fourth classic in a row for the series; both lushly romantic and queasily menacing, it gives the film its own distinctive flavour. The production design is bold and distinctive, with perhaps a hint of playful parody (the sickly green light, the mad scientist outfits, the giant glass jars in the lab); the film looks like a comic strip version of its predecessors. Some of the direction is highly effective - the underwater sequence is devastatingly beautiful. The problem is the slightly over-ripe grotesquerie Jeunet brings out in the material, particularly in the way the cast is shot (Dominique Pinon looks like a malevolent garden gnome, Dan Hedaya resembles a sweaty gendarme). It sits uneasily with the straightforward disaster movie plot. The biggest miscalculation on the production front, however, is the Newborn. The thinking behind it - to give it an expressive face and thus complicate Ripley's (and our) emotional response to it - is sound enough, but it doesn't really come off in the finished creature, which looks like moldy old tissues clinging to a pipe-cleaner frame. Whedon's original conception of a white, red-veined alien of the traditional design might have worked more effectively, although even that might not have survived the aesthetic indignity of its impossible demise, getting sucked into space as a string of alien linguine.
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Not as good as the classical Aliens, but still a bit underrated
DelfinoD11 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Alien: Resurrection is much different than classical Aliens. As a result many Alien-maniacs are disappointed and give it bad notes in the reviews. In my opinion one should look at the movie in a different way. It is not a clear continuation of the story, but rather a variation on the subject.

Alien 4 is not perfect, not even great, but still it is a good science fiction movie. The story is very well written. Many people criticize the idea of cloning Ripley along with the alien inside. Of course I agree that this is completely naive and unrealistic (even the general asks how it is possible), but we have to accept this as a convention. There was no other way to have Ripley back in Alien 4. Well I can imagine Ripley waking up and saying 'Hey, it was just a dream, I didn't jump into the burning lead', but this would be even more ridiculous to me. In Star Wars for example there are many naive and unrealistic things but it doesn't stop it from being a great movie. We accept them just as a convention.

Other people note that Alien 4 is not scary at all. I agree. But I still think that it wasn't supposed to be very scary. In Alien 1&2 Ripley was scared as hell and so were we. In Alien 3 she wasn't scared as much, as she knew from a point, that the Alien wouldn't kill her. We were not scared that much either. In Resurrection Ripley is not scared at all, as she is a bit of alien herself. Why should we be scared then? In my opinion this confusion, whether Ripley is more a human or a alien and who to chose, is the best feature of the movie. It is not a pure action but also a bit of psychological drama. The newborn alien is a masterpiece to me. Ripley, who has strong maternal instinct (see Aliens) feels that it has some of her DNA, that it is her own child. She has real doubts whether to kill it or not. And what is even more interesting is that she probably kills it only to save Annalee. I think she would not kill it just to save a human, which were shown in the movie as beings not really better than the aliens themselves. She did it to save the robot, who in her opinion was probably much more of worth. And that is how I actually felt while watching the movie. "The newborn alien is so cute, maybe let him kill those freaking human beings." But then I would be sorry for Annalee...

In my opinion this is a very good movie, with nice climate and many philosophical questions asked. But if you care only for good action or horror, then you might be disappointed.
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Alien=suspense, Aliens=action, Alien³=tragedy, Alien Resurrection=gore
Pluto-314 August 1998
Although it's got major flaws and some plot holes, I find myself liking Alien Resurrection a lot. First of all, I'm a sucker for horror and sci-fi movies. Second, I LOVE the Alien series, although Alien³ was a bit offbeat in the action department. Third, Sigourney Weaver is incredibly menacing as a cloned Ripley. She's always great to see on screen but this was truly something to behold. and last but not least, I loved the storyline, how they brought the genetic aspect so cleverly. It was truly a new twist on the series, although I wouldn't qualify A:R as a REAL episode in the Alien series but rather a new begining. Jean-Pierre Jeunet did a great job in bringing his fantastic style to Hollywood. The creatures were cool and scary although I wish we had seen more of the Queen; we still had the horrific Newborn which was truly demonic. Anyway, despite it's flaws, it's still a great film, although it will never be a classic like Alien and Aliens are. Now if only there could be a fifth one with a better script, more character development and more firepower.
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The Fatal Mistake.
LordBlacklist9 February 2006
Review 4 of 4

With Alien 3 closing the story arc of the Alien trilogy, this film begins with a fresh slate. The Alien films have always been a director's series but in this film it was the writing that ultimately killed it. Resurrection tries to be too many things at once. It has a very artistic and dynamic visual style, but cardboard characters. It has a very overt sense of humor, but it is all done in a very juvenile manner. Much of the maturity and restraint of the previous three films is thrown out in favor of a more comic book style. The cinematography and set design is gorgeous to the point of decadence. Sigourney Weaver has been given an interesting character to play and does it with a strange sense of detachment that lends more depth to the proceedings than the script ever could. Thinking back, the first three films all had very solid overall stories and well developed characters while Resurrection has a very solid concept but can't seem to build a coherent movie around it. If you follow the overall themes of the series with the first, second and third being birth, life, and death respectively that leaves Resurrection on shaky thematic ground. Since this is Alien: RESURRECTION obviously the filmmakers wished for rebirth to be the theme, but somehow it never quite works. The characters are basically action movie clichés, and the action sequences of the movie are hopelessly contrived. Why does the Alien always stop to snarl before it attacks giving people just enough time to shoot it? Alien 3 did not have this problem and it reinforced how dangerous the creature really was. Resurrection turns the Aliens into monsters from a B-movie. Very few scenes in the film are particularly memorable. Sure, the underwater chase is a nice bit of action derring-do, but there's no real sense of danger...except for the supporting characters you barely know who get killed in the reverse order they appear in the credits. Two fantastic scenes that I wish there were more of in the film are the doctor's examination of the Aliens where he "plays" with them. Now that was a scene of inspired genius. The other scene was when Ripley wakes up in her circular chamber. It is interesting to note that neither of these scenes have any dialogue, because the dialogue is pretty atrocious. Ron Pearlman is always fun to watch and makes a good comic duo with Dominique Pinon, but Winona Ryder absolutely kills this movie with her nonperformance. The effects look less realistic this time out and the score at times seems to try too hard to emulate the second and third films with Goldsmith's original Alien theme being used on several occasions. The film is a brilliant exercise in dynamic visuals but the story really does not go anywhere. Unlike the first three films this one does not take itself seriously at all so the danger level becomes nonexistent. I believe Jean-Pierre Jeunet was an excellent choice for a director but the script served him very badly. This is an interesting film to watch for an interesting scene here and there but not in the same league as the previous films.
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"Alien: Resurrection"- A fun big-budget 'B-Movie.' Trite and a bit mindless, but ferociously entertaining!
MaximumMadness26 November 2017
One of the longest running modern day horror franchises, "Alien" is a fascinating beast in the world of entertainment and media. With its humble origins as a quiet, slow-burn sci-fi thriller, the series evolved through sequels and spin-offs into something else entirely. Whether it be through James Cameron's exquisite action-extravaganza "Aliens", or the Paul W.S. Anderson schlock-tastic crossover "AVP: Alien VS Predator", or even series co-creator Ridley Scott's own pseudo- philosophical quasi-prequel "Prometheus"... "Alien" has changed and evolved quite a bit over the past forty years.

But one release in particular has attracted an almost unanimous scorn and unending ridicule from all over the fanbase. A film that's so reviled, it's almost become a prerequisite that you're just expected to hate it. That being 1997's "Alien: Resurrection"- a strange little footnote in the series that tries its hardest but never quite comes together into much of anything. An attempt to turn the series around after the mixed reception garnered by "Alien 3", this fourth film aims for the stars, but stumbles and falls flat on its face. Although, if I am to be completely honest... I actually don't mind it too much. It's silly, but quite amusing and thrilling, with stylish visual direction and plenty of laughs and thrills to go around. Yes, "Resurrection" might be a mindless and trite exercise in style over substance... but it's also bold and extraordinarily entertaining. It's a ton of fun, even if it is objectively a "bad movie."

Two-hundred years after the events of the previous film, scientists working for the military successfully clone Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and the queen embryo she had been impregnated with, intent on allowing the alien life-form to reproduce so that they might study its race. This "new" Ripley has retained some faint memories of her former life thanks to genetic memory, but as a result of the cloning process, has also taken on some characteristics of the dreaded "xenomorph" species. When the offspring of the alien queen manage to escape, however, Ripley is forced to team up with a group of mercenary space-pirates (including Ron Perlman, Winona Ryder) in order to escape. Along the way, she will uncover startling and deadly revelations about the project that brought her back to life, and come face to face with a devilish new threat...

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet from a script by the world-renowned geek-god Joss Whedon, "Resurrection" does so much right that it's frankly a shame it's so routinely dismissed without much thought. It's essentially an incredibly slick and exceedingly well-made crappy B-movie. The plot is ridiculous. The characters silly and archetypal. And it's filled to burst with nonstop gore and effects. But it's made with a massive budget, an A-list cast and comes from a wildly talented director with a clear vision. Even on a pure aesthetic level, it's one of the most striking films of the franchise, with Jeunet's wonderful eye for flow and composition delivering many incredible set-pieces and designs that'll stick with you. It's just a gorgeous film all around.

The cast is an absolute blast, with Weaver once again knocking it out of the park. Especially as this "new" Ripley also goes through some fascinating changes that both allow Weaver to stretch her acting chops... and have some fun chewing the scenery from time to time. Perlman and Ryder are good fun as members of a space-pirate team, with Perlman in particular being a good fit for the franchise. He's a criminally underrated performer and it's a joy seeing him on- screen. We also get small but fun turns from the likes of Brad Dourif, Dan Hedaya and Michael Wincott, and all serve the film quite well. The effects and action are top-notch for the time, with many sequences still holding up quite well to this day. An underwater chase-scene and a trippy climactic battle against a potential new threat in particular being eye-popping and absolutely jaw-dropping. And the wonderful cinematography and almost amniotic musical score add much to every single scene.

But yeah... despite that praise, the film does have a lot of problems. Like I said above- it's basically a big-budget B-movie filled with the tropes and archetypes you'd expect, and it doesn't fit in with the rest of the series quite well. Unless you're willing to forgive a lot and go with the flow, you're not gonna have a good time with "Resurrection." There has been a lot of talk of how Whedon disowned the film and felt his script wasn't translated properly to screen, and I could definitely see shades of that. For all the amazing things he does, Jeunet seems less interested with story and more interested in increasingly psychotic visuals. And if you're looking for anything more than surface-level entertainment, you'll be sadly let-down.

But me? I take movies for what they are and what they aspire to be. It's clear everyone involved on-screen is having a lot of fun. It's clear that Jeunet is trying to build a wild thrill-ride of a monster-movie. And it's clear that this is a film more concerned with crazed displays of gore and effects than a cohesive story. And you know what? I had a lot of fun with it. It's technically a "bad" movie, but to me... it's a FUN bad movie. And I'm giving it slightly above average 6 out of 10. Give it another shot with an open mind. It just might surprise you how enjoyable "Alien: Resurrection" really is.
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"Was it everything you hoped for?"
Anonymous_Maxine30 May 2008
Alien Resurrection was released about six months after I graduated from high school, and at the time I wasn't very familiar with the series. I took my first film class about six months later, at which point I learned to really appreciate the great films and filmmakers, and one of the first things I learned was that the first three Alien films are spectacular achievements of science fiction cinema and the third sequel is a sad, ridiculous mess. This happens all too often with sequels and yes, part four is not yet another amazingly impressive Alien film, but come on, it's not THAT bad.

I watched it last night for the first time in almost ten years, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It's strange that I liked it so much, because it shows all the signs of a botched, modernized sequel of a series that should have been left alone long ago. The characters, most of all, are almost all goofy caricatures with preposterous dialogue and routine motivations, and some just don't belong at all. Personally I am a pretty big fan of Winona Ryder, but only in roles that suit her, and she has had a lengthy list of roles that suit her, but Annallee Call in Alien Resurrection is just not one of them. Too often she comes off as a tough talking teenager in this movie and it just gets hard to take her character seriously. She's like Ja Rule in Half Past Dead, but less ridiculous.

Then again, this could just have been a result of her starring alongside Sigourney Weaver, and that woman is just awesome. Dan Hedaya is suitably over-the-top in his role as the gleefully neurotic General Perez, and I have to admit that I was curious to see the performance of Gary Dourdan as Christie. Lately I've been watching countless hours of CSI on DVD, and it's amazing to see how different his role is in this movie from the most serious role he would play later in that show. I prefer the later performance, myself.

The resurrection implied in the title refers to Ripley being borough back to life 200 years after her death for the purpose of creating one of the alien queens, and then breeding the animals for twisted scientific purposes. They decide to keep Ripley alive for observation after surgically removing the alien from her chest, only to discover that she and the aliens are clearly more than they are prepared to handle. There is a negligible subplot involving a group of shady characters headed by the wonderfully sinister Michael Wincott as a Frank Elgyn, who promises his men won't start trouble or get into any fights if they are allowed to stay on board for a few days and nights.

I also have to mention Ron Perlman, who just has a face for this kind of movie. Probably most recognizable lately as Hellboy, this has to be one of the least appreciated actors of the last few decades. In just over 20 years he has acted in more than 150 films and TV shows, and at the time of this writing he has 18 projects in the works. Unbelievable! He also has one of the best lines in the movie ("Why the waste of ammo?! Must be a chick thing…").

The aliens are probably the thing that will make or break this movie, and in my opinion they were impressive enough. The occasional CGI effects are never convincing, but then again they never are, so luckily they didn't overdo them. Even the aliens swimming underwater was not too much for me to accept, perhaps given the automatic tension that is immediately generated in almost any movie where someone has to hold their breath for a long time. This went on far too long to be anything remotely realistic in this movie, but it was a good scene nonetheless.

I would also argue that this is the goriest of all of the four alien movies, particularly at the end, but also contains some of the best comic relief. This combination makes the movie highly entertaining, even following in the long shadows of its spectacular predecessors. There is a high energy scene in the third act of the film where Perlman's character performs a daredevil stunt to shoot one of the pursuing aliens dead which is followed by what has to be the funniest spider killing in film history. I haven't laughed out loud like that at a movie in a long, long time.

In browsing through the posts on the message board for Resurrection I have been inspired to raise my rating for the movie from a 7 to an 8, if only because it is so obvious that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon about bashing this movie. I see nothing but whiny, pouting little brats whimpering and griping about little nitpicky details in the movie, condemning the third sequel in the Alien quadrilogy as a travesty and an embarrassment and a pathetic way to end the series.

Stupid people in large numbers, man. It's sad to see such a clear mob mentality slamming a movie that is about 100 times better than most people say. No, it's not up to the same level as the first two films and it definitely has its drawbacks, but it is definitely a good installment in the series, and you could certainly do a lot worse for some fun popcorn sci-fi on a Friday night. I'll admit that my judgment might be a little skewed because I watched the staggeringly awful Eaten Alive just before seeing this, but it is clear to me that Alien: Resurrection has yet to receive the respect it deserves.
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It might disappoint you and here's why...
AMIO-PatricioMunoz29 September 2005
The first three Alien films have a unique kind of "magic" about them that I think make up the ideal Alien experience.

It is the "ALIEN" atmosphere: The first three films depict a very real world around a mysterious and terrifying ALIEN creature that you feared along with the well developed characters.

Alien Resurrection has a very different flavor. Although it has some serious moments, there are several areas of this film that are out-of-place in both the film and the saga: Alien Resurrection has a number of humorous scenes which I feel take away from the above described overall ALIEN experience. The director goes straight into the action very quickly in this film so the only well developed character is Ripley. I think that the Alien creature loses a lot of its majesty in this film mostly because of these two critical factors.

It is still a must-see film for any Alien fan. It is full of strong cinematic sequences that resonate in your head long after the film is over.

But go in expecting something different.

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Meaning in the chaos
triskellion13 September 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Jeunet is a unique visual genius, and purveyor of rare pathos. What may be truly unique about Alien: Resurrection is the scene wherein Ripley discovers the 7 "mistakes" that preceded her. It is one of the most powerful, terrifying and ultimately beautiful scenes I have ever experienced in a film. The "please kill me" segment pops up in other scenes, perhaps other films in the series, and certainly other films in general, but where has one witnessed the great suffering of a version of oneself and the "chance" to end that person's suffering? Weaver plays the scene with just the right amount of emotional chaos. Jeunet typically softens the end of the scene with Ron Perlman's "must be a chick thing" comment, but thankfully that humorous interjection is no more jarring that a slight Shakespearean comic relief. Another terrifying-poignant-grand guignol, and perhaps a unique situation in film (mother killing son and being a hero for it) with the Newborn getting sucked out of the cargo window, one glob of flesh at a time, is also a visually stunning and beautiful realization of the ultimate, primal connection between Ripley and the beast, and the uncomprehending shock and horror the beast experiences when he realizes his own "mother" won't save him. I think Jeunet perfectly handled the movie: the humor, goofier than any in the previous episodes in the series, shows a very European director confident enough in his own style to inject a sacred cow with some sweet cream.
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Alien Resurrection is Slightly Underrated Warning: Spoilers
Audiences are automatically drawn to dislike sequels, which is understandable. I had the fortune to see all four movies in one sitting and this movie was just another part of the series, as it should be. I can see some of the arguments against it. It has some weak parts and is definitely different than the others but this one has its own powerful message and actually ends on a happier note.

While I agree its the weakest of the series I don't believe it "sucks". It's not scary like the original and isn't as action-packed as the second. It's most closely related the the third one but it's its own story. I think it adds a whole new depth to the character of Ripley.

If you like the first three Alien movies there's no reason why you should not enjoy Alien Resurrection.
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Buffy the Alien Slayer
Hollerbach10 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is an abomination. Classic stories work best in 3 acts, and the Alien Trilogy worked fine. Why was this necessary? If a 4th was to be done, it could have been good, had it explored the origins of the aliens, the boneship, and the "space jockey" species. The plot appears to have been drawn from a Dark Horse comic story, about breeding Aliens for profit. 20th Century Fox could have developed a great screenplay. Instead, Joss Whedon is brought in to create one of the lamest scripts in movie history. Definitely on par with ROBOT MONSTER. The dialogue is appalling. Cringe inducing one-liners and throwaway wisecracks abound. Worse, they are delivered by the actors in pantomime style. "Must be a chick thing", "Who do I have to f*** to get off this ship?" and so on. Terrible visual "larks" are thrown in for good measure. There doesn't seem to be anyone who isn't overacting. Except maybe Ryder, who turns in a plank-like performance. However, Ron Perlman and Dominique Pinon, take the arm-flapping and mugging to extraordinary levels. Perlman, as Joner, the "tough guy" Space Pirate, shouts, grimaces, and demonstrates that he is the badass of the story. The X-treme Badass. Pinon as the "physically challenged" character, annoys from start to finish. He whines, pouts, and plays the underdog part with the subtlety of a pipe-bomb. A pity, some fine actors were involved- Brad Dourif, Michael Wincott, Leland Orser. All wasted here. There are goofs throughout- blasting an alien head, through it's mouth, then extracting a pristine tongue/jaw. Christie has his hands by his side. Then not. Then back again, etc. This movie can be viewed, just to spot the many goofs. There are too many "hijinks", and extroverted attempts at "comedy". Jeunet and Weaver had too much "creative control" and appear to have made the film by constructing it around set piece shots and scenes: "Let's have Ripley dreaming that she is covered in cheesecloth". "Wouldnt it look brilliant to have a pit of squirming tentacles?". "What about an Alien pushing the punishment button with it's inner jaw? Not it's hands, it's dripping jaw!". "A robot in a Chapel! How very subversive, and avant garde!". The end result is forced, and seems to serve only these ostentatious "artistic" scenes. Logic is nowhere to be found in this tale. Christie cuts himself loose and thereby sacrifices himself, for his little buddy, for no apparent reason. He isn't incapacitated, the acid on his face looks little worse than a bad case of acne. Is he so vain, he would prefer death, to a future without a modeling career? Joner displays his edgy, in-your-face disposition, by blasting a spider, whose web he is inconvenienced by. Spiders on space ships? What do they catch to eat? Never mind, it is symbolic of their struggle against the aliens. Spider, bugs, aliens... get it? Tres anarchistic! The production itself blows chunks. The movie starts off well enough, but soon descends into a gaudy, psychedelic style. There appear to be lights that serve no function other than to provide a multi-coloured wash. The sets look far too big and are more "Poseidon Adventure" than "Alien". The bombastic score reminds the viewer this is a suspenseful movie, with a melodramatic- Dun, dun, dun ...DUNNNN! In over the top leathers, Weaver seems to meander through the part, falling back on a role she used from her last production. The characterization of Ripley-clone, and "The Queen" from Snow White, are awfully similar. There is actually a scene, where Weaver repeats the same "signature" hand gestures, with Ryder, that she used in "SNOW WHITE: A Tale of Terror", which was shot just prior to this. Perhaps she was channeling the Evil Queen through Ripley? Or telling us that Call is really a banished Princess? There is at least one dwarf. "What were you expecting? Santa Claus?". No, but I wasn't expecting this piece of ****, either. It makes Armageddon look cerebral. Buffy the Alien Slayer. Fox really should have hired a director who spoke English. Jeneut is not entirely to blame. Weaver and Whedon did little to help. Was going to give it 2x stars. But just thinking about this mess, makes me angry. It takes a dump on the Alien Trilogy.

Ripley: "We did it. We saved the Earth". Call: "What do we do, now?"...

Make another multi-million dollar, crappy rip off, from a now violated, cinematic legend, of course!
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Although most would view it as an attempt to revive what is called an already dead series, it is actually a great movie with true intrigue and innovation.
CDallas15 March 1999
First off, let me say that I LOVE the Alien series, so please acknowledge that. Here's what I think: The first two Alien films were outstanding. The first is the scariest movie of all time, and the second is the best action film of all time. I think the third was okay, because it did achieve the dark and creepy feel it was going for, but was also a bit of a disappointment. What I think everyone didn't acknowledge about the film was the fact that it did a damn good job of resurrecting the aliens. Think about it. How else can you make a story that takes place after the third one and still star Sigourney Weaver? Don't say to say the third one was a dream, because then that would be corny and immature. I thought that the story was very good. The characters, although slightly wooden, were very well drawn. Several people say that the old Ripley was gone, but by the end of the film, she was acting just like the good ol' gal we all know and love. And something that only one critic acknowledged was this: the newborn alien. WOW! That thing was ugly and scary as hell! That's the type of alien you need for the ending. You've been seeing the same old alien for 3.75 films now, and you've pretty much gotten scared by the creatures as much as you could, why not bring some fresh meat on the scene? And plus, you have to include the alien tradition of battling a new alien at the end of each film. In the first one, Ripley battled a normal alien. In the second one, Ripley battled a queen. And in the third one, Ripley battled a dog alien. To continue the tradition, Ripley battled a human alien. And if I may say, that thing is the scariest of them all. What I don't understand is that everyone says that this series ran out of steam by the beginning of the third one. I disagree. The Alien films still have a flare going, but a fifth one would be all that you could have before the flame burns out. I expect the fifth to be REALLY good, but also tie up the entire story and give an accurate epilogue to the series. And think about this: You're not going to resurrect a series like this just so that you can end the series again just before the credits of the said film. Alien Resurrection was a good movie, and I think that it was as innovative as a third Alien sequel could be.
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In space, no one can hear you sigh
pooch-825 February 1999
Alien Resurrection is the most radical departure in the series that has now spanned centuries in its own universe and nearly twenty years of our own earth time. Gone is the meticulously constructed suspense of Ridley Scott's 1979 original. Gone is the heart-stopping pulse of uncannily staged action from James Cameron's 1986 sequel. Gone is the Ripley who cried and fought and bled and sacrificed her own life to save the world from the horror she very nearly unleashed in David Fincher's atmospheric and underrated Alien 3. Instead, we get the all-new Ripley: cynical, sardonic, and ready with a wisecrack or a fist for anyone who crosses her path. Director Jeunet unfortunately seems to bask in self-parody, and this is where the film goes wrong. He serves up plenty of nasty evisceration and gruesome chest-bursting, but by now we have seen so much of the creatures that they are no longer terrifying. Still, I have a lasting affection and fascination with this series -- and Jeunet Alien is better than no Alien.
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Oh dear... what a mess !!!
siit21 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Budget constraints were a major issue at the beginning, throughout and in post-production- and it shows. As an avid admirer of the Alien saga, I am thoroughly disappointed with Alien4. And there are two major reasons; one they did a very poor effort in explaining Ripley's presence and Sigourney Weaver struggled to promote credibility to the resurrection. And two, and most importantly, the image, the sound and presence of the 'alien' was so removed from the past three movies it was atrocious.

The general idea of how hosts for the queen were obtained were interesting as was the 'biological weapon' angle. Apart from that I could almost weep when comparing this trash to the first three. 6/10 in hindsight is extremely generous and is more to do with the love of the franchise than any true indication of this movie's worth.

The last half of this movie is so bad I am embarrassed for the producers. The new alien is terrible and diminishes the power and chill of the alien. The supposed claustrophobic feel they were looking for was not realised, the aliens seemed pathetic in their tenacity to destroy human life and was opposite to what was established.

The producers tried to be too clever and ended up not being clever enough.
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Moronic film
harryplinkett1422 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Where does one even begin? I guess the first thing I want to say is that this film has absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. There is not a single line of dialogue, a single shot, a single performance or detail that is actually good.

So let's get to the bad things, then.

The director. That deranged, surrealist Frenchman should never have had anything to do with the project.

The script. It is as though it was intended as a kind of parody of the Alien films, which was a horrible idea. But in the hands of the aforementioned director this would-be parody becomes a surreal mess that is simply unwatchable.

The cast/characters. Winona Ryder's character is irritating and irrelevant for the plot. Come to think of it, all of these characters are irrelevant. They just run around while we wait to see how many will make it until the end of the film. Sigourney Weaver is now a psychotic bitch, which means she talks nonsense and none of her actions seem to have a discernible motivation. Dan Hedaya plays a general whose character is straight out of a cartoon. Seeing him do these comedic bits is probably the first shocking thing. A film that starts like a straight horror in space takes a strange turn as soon as he enters the stage, and the confusion thus created never ceases. Of course, the confusion and incredulity are exacerbated by further...

...Nonsensical moments. A guy fires a gun at an angled surface on the ceiling, thus shooting an adversary. This is straight out of Looney Toons. To make it more baffling, that same character cannot hit an alien from three feet away, even after unloading an entire clip at it. Then he falls into a pool of water and everyone assumes he is dead. Why is he dead? Can he not swim back to the surface? Who knows. And who cares? The director certainly doesn't care, so why should we? But let's look at the very basics: They are running this super secret, expensive project... which relies on services provided by space pirates. They breed aliens that bleed acid... in containers that are not resilient to acid. They are a military facility, crawling with troops, yet they never even attempt to contain the escaped aliens. For some reason, they just run for their lives without even taking the time to assess the situation. Was that their emergency plan from the start? Run for your life? And just to make things even more interesting, the ship is programmed to return to Earth... in case deadly aliens break loose, making the entire garrison flee in disarray. Great idea. By the way, although the ship is supposed to be far away, far from sight of the various government agencies, it makes the trip to Earth in a matter of hours. I guess it makes sense the crazy Frenchman took the job as the director - no one else would touch it, while he clearly couldn't care less about plausibility and saw the whole thing as a way of shoving in some of his favourite implausible plot elements. I'd like to point out another inconsistency here: the plot only seems to remember aliens bleed acid when it needs the acid to be used to make the aliens escape or to help Ripley cut something open with her own, acidic blood (the result of cloning). In other situations, aliens that have been shot dead do not bleed acid. The script simply doesn't care.

The alien hybrid. Apparently alien has been fused with human DNA and is now being born like a human baby, and looks like Pumpkinhead. You don't know whether to laugh or just feel uncomfortable watching that thing.

The lesbian overtones. Ripley is not only psychotic, apparently she is now a lesbian as well. I guess they thought that they could score some points for that. But Ripley looks godawful and frankly watching her make sexual advances towards that little twerp Wiynona Ryder is just creepy.

Boring. Yes, it's boring. We couldn't care less about the characters - in fact, they are quite unlikable so we might find ourselves cheering for the aliens to get them. And when they do get them, it doesn't involve suspenseful scenes. The only action scene people will remember from this film is the one where they are being chased by aliens under water. It's interesting to see aliens swim, but then again, they do not look convincing at all. They are being chased by CGI.

Ending. I have no idea how it ends. I have seen this film several times and by the time Pumpkinhead makes its appearance I am sick of it. By the time we get to about ten minutes before the end I can't take it any more. I know how it ends, though, but only because I have seen some reviews of the film on Youtube. I literally cannot endure to watch this nonsense until the end.

So there you have it. You still want to watch this thing? It just occurred to me that I somehow still haven't been able to explain just how awful the viewing experience of Alien Resurrection is. I guess that final touch of awfulness comes from the French auteur himself. Think of Alien Resurrection as a cinematic turd with an attitude.
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Threepenny Opera
chaos-rampant15 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I admit I like this quite a bit, having seen it four times now. I think to get into this, it helps to have some appreciation for dissonance, for music not quite melodious. Cogs in a machine that you are not quite sure what they do. This one works, just not every part in congruity with the others - that would be Cameron's way of doing things, this is closer to the original despite the radical shift in tone.

This was first and foremost intended as a parody in the operatic manner, an exaggerated cartoon, you can see that in the opening scene (special edition) with the bug being spat out on a windshield. It is very clearly a staged product, any allusions to organic development long gone. Ripley is manufactured for the purposes of the mission, the opening shot in essence is of her character being unveiled as the protagonist of this operatic show. The aliens are constructed from her. The situation where they will breed is similarly staged, victims carted in.

Someone like say Verhoeven could pull this off clean through, Starship Troopers-style, gleeful, sardonic, tongue-in-cheek from beginning to end. The dissonance here is between writer, filmmaker, and lead actor, each one pulling in a different direction.

Whedon wrote a black comedy of sorts. He satirizes action heroics, masculinity, leadership (Perez and Vriess are the first to go), the military is not only inept (compared to Cameron's marines), but basically involved in shady , unethical business. He wrote what he thought would be a few memorable one-liners, to be delivered with a wink to the audience. The first part until roughly the alien breakout is closer to his idea of the film.

Enter Jeunet. He wants to do the best blockbuster money can buy, a new gamble this, the most exciting and intense firecracker toy, one of those 'big' Hollywood films that we all enthused about as teenagers and you'd have to be a joyless macaroon to say no to. He has studied a lot of Spielberg and Cameron and, daresay, meets them in equal terms. He bends Whedon's vision to his, and because he hardly spoke any English at the time, he directs actors in a perfunctory manner - some of them areonboard with Whedon's idea, others not.

And you have, quite apart from the other two, Sigourney Weaver who always felt an emotional attachment to Ripley, and who is by this point as much a shaping force as everyone else. Amidst competing visions, she insists on a heavy emotional center, which just so happens (as it did in Aliens) to emphasize a damaged personality, nightmares, schizoid tensions between motherhood and her more conventional action/hero role.

So, when this spins, it spins in three directions at once. I think it is a great joy to be able as a viewer to accommodate all three visions, you will have a helluva time I guarantee.

You will never more clearly see this rip-roaring dissonance in the Newborn being sucked out through a tiny aperture, sent out guts flying into space.

The scene is at once meant to be hilarious, gruesome, and, as you shift to Ripley's point-of-view, emotionally devastating. The scene is so appalling because it IS those three things at once, and they are simply not emotions that as humans we can easily juggle.

Jeunet was brilliantly inspired in moving the aliens underwater, this scene was a long time coming.
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The resurrection of a popular series
dee.reid4 December 2002
Let's recap.

The first alien film, which was directed by Ridley Scott is the film that started it all. Scott's direction was sharp and "Alien" had the most tension-filled setting of the series and it brought to life a truly horrifying creature. But that was twenty-three years ago. "Alien" since it was released in 1979, has become seriously dated and seems to have lost some of its potency.

"Aliens", which was directed by James Cameron, is the most well-known film in the series and the most successful. This time instead of Ripley going up against one alien, she must now go up against an entire nest of the deadly creatures, but with the help of a few good marines added to the bunch. The ultimate question was of course, would excellent firepower be enough to combat the aliens? Cameron focused a lot on action and tension, which transformed "Aliens" into a war movie of sorts. I liked "Aliens" the most and hasn't lost any of its ability to still shock its audience.

"Alien 3", directed by David Fincher, is the most underrated of the series. Fincher changed the series by doing something new with it by adding his trademark dark settings to the film. Instead of continuing the trend that was pioneered by James Cameron, he went back to step one, while still taking the series in a new direction. He created one of the most dark and depressing horror films ever brought to life. Though for some odd reason, audiences missed that entirely. Fincher had originally intended the film to be much longer and with more character development, but executives at Fox had cheated him out of his own vision by removing most of said footage.

Now we have "Alien: Resurrection", released in 1997 and directed by acclaimed French film maker Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Set two-hundred years after the events of "Alien 3", Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been cloned from a sample of her DNA and must continue her ongoing fight with the deadly alien this time with the help of a group of futuristic space pirates and a mysterious woman named Call (Winona Ryder).

It goes without saying that Jeunet is a visual genius. He has a real sense of bringing life into his scenes and giving the movie a fantastic look. The gore here is pretty extreme and some scenes will certainly make your skin crawl, turning the movie into a freak show of sorts. But that could ultimately be what Jeunet was trying to do, I'm not quite sure. That is no reason to hate this film however. An excellent addition to the series that is not to be missed.
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A 20 year re-review
A_Different_Drummer20 July 2016
I am one of those older (mature) reviewers who can claim to have seen this series in real time, in theatres.

First I will share my recollection of what that was like at the time.

Alien 1 was magnificent. If you were to make a list of the greatest films of all time (and all reviewers do this, if only subconsciously) Alien 1 would be make the list. Alien 2 was doubly astonishing because it was almost as good as Alien 1 and, as any film buff knows, the sequel is rarely if ever that good.

Expectations were high going into Alien 3, the prison planet movie, but the entry was disappointing and for the first time fans started to wonder if the franchise was going to self-destruct.

For this reason, Alien 4, Resurrection, was disappointing in every possible way. It was a weak concept, poorly timed and poorly executed. The template for the story was more "haunted house" than sci-fi. Not only was the story flawed but at the end of the day it ran out of steam after the first 30 minutes and became tedious for the audience, a sin no film should ever commit. All the characters were so unlikable -- including to a large extent Weaver's saucy clone -- that even if the audience WANTED to root for a character, there was no one worthy of the effort.

I got hold of the director's cut and re-reviewed this film because another member posted a review saying this film was unappreciated.

OK, so let's appreciate it for what it is -- a flawed entry that almost destroyed the franchise. The IMDb rating is solid -- in other words, this is really a very weak film.

(To date Alien 1 and 2 remain the best of the series. AVP is a remarkably perky little entry that somehow manages to polarize reviewers who either love it or hate. I have re-watched AVP more than any other entry. It is not elegant but it is very very entertaining.)
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Oh Ridley, where art thou? (or even David Fincher?)
jimbofletch14 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Why? I'll ask that question again. WHY? Why was this film ever made? The original Alien is a masterpiece. No doubt. Aliens is the perfect sequel. Alien 3 is flawed, but visually inventive and it makes some interesting developments from the first two films in terms of drama and character. Alien Resurrection is a cash-in. Of course, most sequels are, but this one doesn't even attempt to hide the fact that it is one. It feels, lazy, hackneyed, tired and lethargic. There is no tension, not even in the underwater sequence that everyone raved about (simply because it was too difficult for the fans to believe that an Alien film could be utterly devoid of merit, suspense or interest). The Ripley character looks bored, and is now so outrageously arrogant as to become a cheap parody of her strong female status. Now she is so overwhelmingly macho it just looks stupid. The other characters are pitifully written. The first two Alien films had characters you cared about, and even the third film managed to make some of the victims (tough job considering they were all murderers) sympathetic. But here, all they do is make bad jokes and totally dispel any possible tension by spouting ridiculous dialogue. And for a film in which all the characters do is run away, there is no atmosphere of tension or sense of danger. This is

due to a lame script and uninvolved direction. The special effects are mostly poor, especially in the end, and is a further testament to the overall badness of CGI.

There is only one mildly diverting sequence, when Ripley sees all of her clones in the laboratory and burns them down in a moment of grief. Some attempts of character development, but in retrospect, the sequence just feels throwaway, just a bit of filler in between the next inevitable death. It is also doesn't help that the emotion of the scene is ruined by the line "Women..." by the stereotypically mysognist bonehead played by that moron out of Beauty and the Beast.

Finally. Winona Ryder. She is terrible in this! Of course (SPOILER), she's a robot, but that's just something defenders of her unexplainable star status say to avoid admitting the fact that she is bad in this. Very bad.

If Alien 3 was a pale imitation of Alien (albeit not a bad one), then this is a TV movie copy of Aliens. It looks rubbish, has no reason to exist, and completely destroys the credibility of one of the most interesting SF film series ever. For what once was a classic trilogy, has now become a franchise.

As stupid as Alien Versus Predator seems, it can't be as bad as this.
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Superior to Alien 3
FiendishDramaturgy22 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
While this is commonly thought of as the weaker installment of this line, personally, I believe it to be superior to Alien 3 in many important ways.

200 years after Ripley's death, she is cloned and brought back to life. The cloning process, however, also involved the DNA of the Alien Queen, giving her superhuman powers and abilities. After several failed attempts, they finally make good with a humanoid Ripley/Queen with superior intelligence and talents.

According to the Making of documentary, this installment was very unlike the disorganized mess which was Alien 3 in that this attempt was together and ready to go a year before they actually started shooting. The story was polished and perfected, and was a unique and creative story in comparison. It was a big script in Hollywood. The buzz about it was that it had elements which made it a worthwhile successor to the first two, completely ignoring the third installment all together.

Alien: Resurrection takes the Alien franchise to places fans would never have dreamed, without compromising the key elements of the Alien world, and does it successfully.

The studios did not want a typical Hollywood popcorn movie to be part of this franchise, and therefore hired Jean-Pierre Jeunet (City of Lost Children, if you can dig it) to bring in a unique interpretive eye to the direction of this project. His visual style is quite distinct and permeates this work in a pro-active way. It was, perhaps, the most shrewd move Fox could have made in that his unique perspective was the single-most saving factor of this attempt.

The action sequences are quite rousing, the story here is once again solid and convincing, and the performances are still the top row quality you expected from this line.

The fight sequences are well choreographed and executed; beautifully done, as is the rest of this movie. While I cannot rate it as high as I did the first two, it is obviously superior to Alien 3 in all ways that matter.

It rates a 7.9/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Not bad
lagudafuad11 April 2012
The fourth installment in the Alien Franchise was Alien Resurrection which had Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), cloned after she died 200 years ago in Alien 3. The cloned Ripley had in her, the DNA of the Alien so what they company had "CLONED" was a hybrid, a human and the alien DNA mixed.

The new Ripley had in her chest the Queen Embryo, which was removed as soon as the cloning process was a success, and she was studied and she bred a new kind of Alien.

Well, the company also had Alien eggs and they captured men in hyper-sleep and used them to breed the Alien. They caged them and tried to train them but soon the Aliens got smart and broke free and again all hell broke loose.

What makes this last installment to the franchise good was the suspense, in every turn there is something you thought you had figured out till it changes the next second making the story also dynamic. Written by Joss Whedon, who had worked on Buffy the Vampire slayer before this, the story and screenplay had enough action to keep you on the edge of your sit.

The actors were on their toes delivering their lines and their interpretation of character with finesse. Another thing that did it for me was the idea to use the Alien's blood as part of the script, not much about this acid blood has occurred in the previous two installments. But here it played a vital role in the story.

It was also directed by another director, a French director Jean-Pierre who I have to give kudos to, as he did a fine job in delivery. The CGI and the effects in this installment was better than all previous 3 put together, and it has to be said even though this is not better than 2 (Aliens (1986)), it redeemed the image of the franchise.

All in all, it is not a bad re watch.
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Sad, sad ending(?) to such a good movie series
Zahgurim15 February 2002
Well, what can I say about this one? It has totally lost whatever it was that made the other movies good. Sure, they have all been a little worse then the one before, starting With the excelent Alien, followed by the almost excelent aliens and then the okay movie Alien3. But this, is a total letdown. In my opinion there is no reason to see this one. Actually, if you've seen the others, it's even more reason to skip this one as it takes some of the "glow" from the others by bringing down the franchise.

It's not so strange though... The best movies seldom benefit from a followup. (There are exceptions though)

So, don't see this movie unless you feel you have to. You are likely to be very, very disapointed.
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Don't think of it as an Alien film
Josh-is-not-you9 March 2006
Don't think of Alien Resurrection as an Alien film, but rather a Joss Whedon film. Yes it's different. But the others are separate types of movies also. Alien is a creepy monster thriller. Aliens is an action movie. Alien3 is a goth nightmare gone wrong. Alien Resurrection is a Whedon film. Me being a big fan of Firefly/Serenity and his Astonishing X-Men comic book series loved this film dearly. Yes it may require some thinking to understand, due to the cloning and cross-breeding stuff. But it isn't bad to have Hollywood make you think with an action/horror movie. If you think of this a different kind of movie I think you'll enjoy it like I did. But if you are looking for the same kind of movie a before you might a well pass this one.
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Did we need a fouth?
bob the moo17 October 2001
Following the disappointment of alien3's performance and the death of Ripley, it was thought that the alien franchise was finished, going out on a high - the completion of the films and Ripley, with Ripley dying in the struggle to kill the alien that had become her whole life.

Once the potential earnings had been calculated, it probably didn't take very long to decide to piece together a sequel. This was always going to be messy - can you do an Alien movie without Weaver? How can you bring your main character back to life? Alien v's Predator anyone?! Once they pieced together a script and got Weaver on board it was all set to go.

Let me lay my cards on the table - I don't like this film. Yes, the direction is brilliant visually with some great set pieces. The story is good for some of the film, turning the conspiracy story up to 10 with aliens being bred in captivity, but after the aliens get out the story is mostly a chase and kill deal and then goes onto some nonsense about a new breed of alien that looks like milky bars!

Apart from the visuals and the conspiracy angle this is pretty ordinary stuff, it doesn't deserve to be part of such a classic series. As a stand alone film it is OK but an Alien movie can't be just OK. The performances are so-so, Weaver enjoys the fact that her character is allowed to be more powerful than usual but this doesn't actually make it a better performance, the fact that Jeunet fills the film with the French actors from his other films makes it slightly more interesting but no less average.

Just because Jeunet put the guns back into the Alien series doesn't make it good. There isn't anywhere near the tension of the other movies and there's certainly no horror. A good sci-fi movie but it could be any movies, there's nothing that really means it could only be an Alien movie here.
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Utter crap
Hippi18 January 1999
There must have been some very good reasons for the release of this film, but on the evidence of how the film turned out, this film should not have seen the daylight. Almost everything is done wrong: Ripley's character is ruined in to a clone, supporting characters are simply idiots, the aliens only manage to be scary in one single scene and the ending is without any scientific base or sense of logic. The new alien, Newborn, goes only for a bad joke. What was about to be an exciting twist in the overlong tale of Ripley came out as as repulsing variation of a cheap splatter film. This film is horrifying in all the ways the makers didn't intend.
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