It All Happens In The Dark

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The Final Frontier?

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

This one really didn’t make much of an impression on me. It should have been something great. It was scripted by the uber talented Joss Whedon and the man in charge, Jean-Pierre Jeunet was the same guy who brought us Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children (well, he had a co-director on those two). I think I like Resurrection just a little better than Aliens. It is sorta kinda ingenuous how they bring “Ripley” back – through cloning, natch. Cause she died at the end of the last film, remember?

I hate to admit it but the script is the weakest link. Which is surprising considering Whedon gave good space in Firefly and proved he could do gooey monsters with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I’m not letting Jeunet off the hook, either. The movie is not super visually appealing or full of interesting directorial touches and techniques.

Sigourney Weaver sure seems to be enjoying herself, though, and she is – big shocker – great as a “Ripley” with some alien in her. I guess she did technically have some alien in her in the last film, too… but that was different. Now, she’s part alien. Those stupid scientists never learn and still think they can use these creatures as weapons. I love that Sigourney has been in all of these films. She not only adds a very significant connecting thread, but she brings brains and a certain amount of believability to the proceedings. She makes even the weakest entries in the series watchable.

We get a Motley crew that this time includes space pixie Winona Ryder and future Hellboy Ron Perlman. The bond that Winona’s character Call and Ripley develop is interesting but is never given the time to develop or produce dividends.

Ripley gets kinky with an alien, a half human/half alien creature pops out, smashes the face off the alien Queen that has just birthed it and then turn to Ripley for mothering. That part was pretty nifty, except for Brad Dourif hanging in the rafters, lousing it up. At the end when the poor creatures gets sucked apart and into space it is actually kind of sad. He was sort of cute, wasn’t he? This film does offer us our most sympathetic look at the creatures, which probably isn’t all that swell of an achievement since they’re supposed to be scaring us.

None of it really makes much sense or tries to – it all feels more like a bad black comedy (Hello, Dan Heyda) than a serious stab at horror or sci-fi. It is all just a little too insignificant and tossed off – it would have been better if it had taken itself a bit more seriously. 

How do you go from this to Amélie? Go figure. C

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