I’m the Monster’s Mother.
We’ve come to the conclusion of the Alien series, but not quite to the end of the movies that I’ll be reviewing that are like it. I feel like the review series wouldn’t be complete if I neglected to review the film that finds out what happens when Aliens come up against Predators, which also means I should review Predator. But that’ll come in the next couple of days. Today is the final Alien movie, which I remember being fairly fond of for whatever reason, but Rotten Tomatoes still does not show this movie favor. Who will be wrong? Rotten Tomatoes, obviously, but I’ll write some words to explain why. First, I’m awesome and always right. Second, my review of Alien Resurrection, written by Joss Whedon, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dan Hedaya, Brad Dourif, J.E. Freeman, Michael Wincott, Gary Dourdan, Ron Perlman, Dominique Pinon, Kim Flowers, Raymond Cruz, and Leland Orser.
Since they killed Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in the previous movie, we’re going to have to be introduced to our new protagonist of the Alien series. That comes in the form of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) … wait … Cloning? Oh movie… You are the sillies. Ellen Ripley has been cloned because humanity really wants to get its hands on the creature that seems to do nothing but kill them and her clone would have the queen in her chest. They successfully clone her and remove the queen, but keep her alive for study because her DNA has been mixed up with that of the Xenomorph queen. After a while, the crew of the mercenary ship called the Betty show up with a bunch of people in stasis for General Perez (Dan Hedaya), who wants to use the people as hosts for the aliens. Unbeknownst to the crew of the Betty, their newest member and engineer Annalee Call (Winona Ryder), joined up with them to get onto the ship and kill Ripley and the alien menace, but she’s too late because the Xenomorphs have already escaped and gotten to what they do best.
I still like this movie. It’s still not really comparable to Alien or Aliens, but it was lucky enough to follow Alien3, making it that much better in comparison. Also, Joss Whedon wrote it, so it probably gets some love just for that. Of course, I didn’t know that until this viewing and I still thought it was pretty good. Once you get past the initial annoyance of the return of Ripley being based on cloning, you can let yourself enjoy the movie. Sure, the cloning thing is a bit of an easy solution to a problem, but it also opens up for some things that I found interesting, like Ripley basically being a superhero with super strength, senses, and acidic blood. It also opened the story up for some things that I didn’t dig on very much, like the hybrid alien. Sure, it looked icky as hell, but the Xenomorphs are way scarier and far more badass-looking. For instance, I’m going to be a little afraid of an alien with no nose and dripping white skin, but then I’m going to look down and see its tiny alien boobies that it has for some reason and I’ll probably be dying laughing. And that’s not a good thing when the regular Xenomorphs look as awesome as they’ve ever looked in this movie. They have never been constantly wetter. The rest of the story kind of unfolds as you’d expect as this story seems like mostly Whedon’s love letter to the Alien series, but that also makes things less surprising. One of the characters turns out to be a robot, the army in this one makes fun of the company for not being able to handle the Xenomorphs while making the same mistakes, Ripley’s going to win. Not a whole lot of surprises, but it’s still got a lot of cool going on. I liked the underwater scene where the group had to pass through an area underwater while being chased by a couple of Xenomorphs, for instance. I also liked when one of the characters used the alien bursting out of his chest to kill someone. And the way they defeat the last alien in the movie is pretty awesome, and extremely icky. The way the Xenomorphs escape their captivity by sacrificing one of their own is also very clever. I like when they make them smarter than your average monster, but I wasn’t that fond of the aliens pressing the red button that was once used to punish them to kill the soldier, as awesome looking as that death was. It just doesn’t seem like their style. They’re plenty good at killing without the use of buttons and liquid nitrogen. Speaking of better ways to kill things, though I liked the emotional impact of the scene with all the failed Ripley clones, it seems like there are better and quicker ways to kill them than using a flamethrower.
Most of the performances were good in this movie. I would say this is the movie where Sigourney Weaver brings Ripley to the full potential of badass. She’s got superpowers and she knows it. It’s kind of the opposite of how she was a badass in Aliens. In this movie she never seems afraid, so she’s just a badass because she’s the toughest one in the room, where in Aliens she was just the toughest because she did what she had to even though she was afraid. Still an interesting character though. I also really liked Winona Ryder in this movie. For my money, she’s never been hotter in any movie I’ve seen her in. There’s something about that lady that is a little bit of alright. Although her sexuality never really came into play in her performance. Her performance was more about hating on someone for not being human, which is completely ironic given what we find out about her later. I also liked Gary Dourdan’s character. Sure, he did a lot of things that I’m sure the Mythbusters wouldn’t take kindly to, like crazy ricochet shots to kill people, but he was also pretty badass and had a great look as well. I did get a little confused by his death though. I mean, he just got a little acid burn on his face. There was no reason he couldn’t grab back onto the ladder and live a little while longer. There’s also no reason that he couldn’t survive the short fall into the water that apparently killed him for good.
Alien Resurrection was much better than Alien3, but still far inferior to Alien and Aliens. The story is good once you get past the BS cloning thing, the look is good, the action is over the top and fun, and a lot of the performances are still solid. It’s a somewhat acceptable end to the series, but of course I wouldn’t have minded another one. But, at this point, they’d probably have to replace Ripley, and I don’t think I’m down for that. It’ll do, I suppose. Alien Resurrection gets “Ellen Ripley died trying to wipe this species out. For all intents and purposes, she succeeded” out of “Must be a chick thing.”
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