Following in the wake of 1979 Ridley Scott masterpiece “Alien,” James Cameron tour de force “Aliens,” and David Fincher directional debut “Alien 3,” “Alien: Resurrection” arrives as an uneven chapter in the “Alien” legacy. The 1997 sci-fi horror flick is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and written by sci-fi and fantasy mastermind Joss Whedon. As the fourth installment in the “Alien” franchise, it’s a decidedly mixed experience. “Alien: Resurrection” seems to only resurrect insofar as it recycles past material.
During the finale of “Alien 3,” Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) discovers that she’s the host of a Xenomorph queen. Because the queen is growing within her, Ripley plummets to her death in a pool of molten liquid, mich like the end of “Terminator 2.”
“Resurrection” opens in 2379, 200 years after “Alien 3.” Aboard the spaceship USM Auriga military scientists clone Ripley. The clone Ripley is dubbed Ripley 8. She’s the result of DNA blood samples drawn before her demise. But since Ripley carried an Alien queen at the time of her death, Ripley 8 carries human and Xenomorph traits.
A band of mercenaries, Elgyn (Michael Wincott), Annalee Call (Winona Ryder), Sabra Hillard (Kim Flowers), Christie (Gary Dourdan), Johner (Ron Perlman), and John Vriess (Dominique Pinon) arrive on the Auriga. General Martin Perez, commanding officer of the Auriga contracted their services. But the mission doesn’t quite go as planned. The Xenomorphs escape, and Elgyn et. al, joined by Ripley proceed on a quest to stop the ship from reaching Earth with Aliens on board.
“Alien: Resurrection” isn’t a disaster. Rather, it’s simply a regurgitation of past material. There’s the government and military covert study of Xenomorphs, a ragtag crew, and a badass Sigourney Weaver. The horror elements don’t match those in “Alien.” Additionally, the action isn’t as gripping as “Aliens.”
Unlike “Alien” and “Aliens,” “Resurrection” doesn’t feature characters as relatable. But it’s not a matter of poor acting. Rather, most characters simply lack much screentime and moreover feel like caricatures.
Still “Alien: Resurrection” is not a total loss. Truthfully, it’s a fun “popcorn film.” There’s a campy vibe which makes “Resurrection” fairly fun. Additionally, amidst the predictability, “Resurrection” fosters a few genuine surprises.
“Alien: Resurrection” is undeniably the low point of the “Alien” quadrilogy. More than just Ripley gets resurrected. Instead, “Resurrection” is comprised of the same formula, this time with less exciting action and unconvincing horror. But a tongue in cheek, mildly cartoonish aesthetic benefit “Alien Resurrection,” ultimately making it a fun, if forgettable, flick.