Posted by: sigourneyweaverfan | January 29, 2010

Review: ‘Alien: Resurrection’ (1997)

Alien: Resurrection

USA, 1997
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman
Genre: Sci-fi, Horror

Plot: 200 years after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/Alien hybrid clone who must continue her war against the Aliens.

“Hey, Ripley. I heard you, like, ran into these things before?”
“Yeah.”
“Wow, man. So, like, what did you do?”
“I died.”

I’m a huge fan of the Alien saga. Seriously. I practically grew up with those movies. The first time I saw ‘Alien: Resurrection’ I was 13 years old. Rewatching it a few days ago on DVD (I hadn’t done that in a long time) gave me a more objective perspective on this film, I believe. Once I used to love it for the simple fact it was part of the saga. Now I can see it for what it really is: an enjoyable sci-fi/action flick with its good ideas and its undeniable flaws.

Sigourney did a great job with her new Ripley 8. You can totally see some aspects of the original character in the way she talks, in her sarcasm and mistrust towards military/scientific authorities. We even get hints of a possible surviving maternal instinct. But beyond all this, there’s something more. Ripley 8 is an hybrid. There’s a sinuosity in her movements, a predator look in her eyes, that remind of the alien race she shares part of her genetic code with. I think Sigourney was amazing in making this duality visible for the audience (not to mention all the stunt work she did). Thanks to her performance, Ripley’s conflict and her struggle for humanity become realistically compelling and unpredictable.

In my opinion, the main problem with ‘Alien: Resurrection’ is it doesn’t have the great claustrophobic atmospheres of the previous movies. It has some well-done action scenes (the underwater chase is pretty good indeed), but none of them will give you the creeps. Also, the rest of the cast – except Winona Ryder – gets too carried away by the humoristic elements of the script, ending up being over-the-top and exaggerated. I mean, Hicks and Vasquez in ‘Aliens’ were kick-ass characters with awsome lines, but they felt like real human beings. A positive note goes to the score, which I found appropriately effective.

My suggestion is this: enjoy the flick for what it is, but don’t expect anything as good as ‘Alien’ or ‘Aliens’, because you’ll certainly be disappointed.

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