Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Alien4

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Joss Whedon? Riiiiiiiight.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

Before I begin this review, I want to first start off by saying I didn’t want to review Alien: Resurrection, let alone watch it again. It was painful when I first saw it – to the point where it made the rest of the franchise just not seem worth it in the long run. Thing is, I’m a little OCD when it comes to movie franchises. I can’t just watch and review all but one. So it was an obligation, to be sure. I’ll admit, rewatching this wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. In fact, parts of it were more entertaining than the third…which isn’t very difficult. Before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk plot.

Let’s see if I can even come close to explaining what this movie was about. Some 200 years after the events of the third Alien movie, Ripley is back through the act of cloning. The Company was responsible for cloning her, and their reasoning is obvious – to collect the alien baby in her stomach. Only, after cloning her, the alien DNA has transformed her into a super-human of sorts. Basically, The Company wants the aliens to tame and control, but when they escape captivity, Ripley must battle the aliens once more, regardless of how deep of a connection she feels to them…or something.

First of all, let’s talk about Joss Whedon, who reportedly “wrote this movie”. In case you’re having trouble remembering, 1997 was also the year Buffy the Vampire came out, and it takes a good long while to actually make a movie, so Joss had to have written the script a ways before Buffy actually came to be. Now, as you’re probably aware, Joss didn’t get famous until after Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so not everyone accepted his very different style of writing yet. Let me break this down for you, Alien: Resurrection was once written by Joss Whedon, but no one liked his version, so they tweaked and tweaked until nothing of his creation still existed. You can practically watch any Joss Whedon movie and notice his influence, but that isn’t as readily available here. If I were to mention what feels most like Joss Whedon, it would be the crew that shows up at The Company’s doorstep. Their complete diversity and sometimes humor may definitely remind you of Whedon. Other than that, a super-powered heroine in the lead may have been a part of Whedon’s influence…I think the biggest change was story. And story was key.

This was so all over-the-place that I don’t even know where to begin. I sort of like what they did with Ripley, and sort of hate it. Let me be clear, what they did to her character and to this movie completely bastardizes the series as well as her character. In terms of a movie on its own, it’s not terrible. Sigourney Weaver as a super-powered and mysterious being is brilliant. You don’t know whether to call her an ally or a foe, and somehow that just works…it gets weird when she’s about to make out with an alien, but the actual change in her character is just interesting enough to keep watching.

The biggest problem this film faced was when the aliens escaped and it was the same thing over and over again. Up to that point, the movie was headed in a very, very interesting direction. However, once the aliens escaped and it was fight for your life time, I lost all of my interest. The interesting concepts of the movie were done for, the character development halted, and the downward spiral began. It was just one thing after the other, and for so much violence and action going on, I couldn’t believe how bored and distracted I got. It turned into a major disappointment.

I will say I had an interesting experience though. I went in expecting to hate the entire thing, which I didn’t. A good portion of the first half introduced us to a lot of interesting concepts that the series never once approached that were worthwhile. Then it was the same thing all over again with the chasing and the dying, and the….well you know. It wasn’t just boring in the end, it was tap-your-toe boring. Meaning you’re sitting there waiting for the blasted thing to end so you can write your review and swear never to watch the movie again. And there you have it…that’s why I remembered the movie as being a pain in the neck.

The Good:

Surprisingly enough, Alien: Resurrection starts off with a lot of bright ideas and concepts. The space crew that shows up is a little reminiscent of Whedon’s Firefly crew, which is just about as much Whedon as you’ll get from the movie.

The Bad:

Once the aliens escape captivity, everything that held potential was squashed, and the rest of the movie sucks. It’s a huge disappointment, because a lot of the franchise is just perfect for Joss Whedon, but no one actually understood his potential, so they pooped on his script and put it on the big screen.

Memorable Quote:

Johner: Hey, Ripley. I heard you, like, ran into these things before?

Ripley: That’s right.

Johner: Wow, man. So, like, what did you do?

Ripley: I died.

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