Ripley is cloned as an alien/human hybrid 200 years after her death
and must help a crew of space pirates escape an alien infested ship.
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written by Joss Whedon
Starring Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman,
Dominique Pinon, J.E. Freeman, Gary Dourdan,
Kim Flowers, Leland Orser, Raymond Cruz,
Brad Dourif, Michael Wincott, Dan Hedaya
Sequel to 1992's Alien³
Alien: Resurrection is a bizarre film. It represents an honest attempt to return to the franchise's glory days, while at the same time reflecting the problems that fans were beginning to complain about almost universally. The worst part of it all is that what made the Alien franchise unique in the first place was its simplicity and its atmosphere. Resurrection has neither one. In fact, it further complicates the mythology by adding another monster, one that is hated by fans more than AVPR. I'm, of course, referring to the Newborn, a painfully misguided attempt to spice up a dwindling franchise. Here we are 20 years later, still talking about it with disgust like it was only yesterday.
The worst atrocity this fourth entry committed was what it did to the character of Ellen Ripley. Instead of honoring her sacrifice in one of the few redeemable parts of the third film, the filmmakers decided to clone her into a barely recognizable sociopathic hybrid clone called Ripley 8. The Ripley we grew to love over three films was gone forever, replaced by a new character with her face that I hated within 15 minutes of getting to know her. Add a woefully miscast Winona Ryder and a crew of passable actors given horrendous dialogue and you've got yourself a ridiculously over-the-top Alien film that just barely crests above Alien³.
As far as the positives go, the standard Xenomorphs look creepier than they ever have and the set design is pretty spectacular as well. It's only the little things like story and characters that suffer here. The idea of hybrids sounds good on paper, but this was never a franchise that dealt with the union of two creatures. From the beginning, the Xenomorphs were monsters, almost like boogeymen from outer space. Even Alien³ honored that to some extent. But Resurrection ignores the most important part of the series: The theme. I think the first film's tagline summed it up best. In space, no one can hear you scream. Well, with this film, in space, no one can hear you gag.