Plot: What’s it about?
While Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) went on to a better place in her last adventure, there’s always the chance to bring people back. No, I don’t mean voodoo or some satanic ritual, I mean technology, everyone knows it can solve any problems, right? As such, using the most advanced techniques, a clone is created, and we have a new Ripley, it’s just that simple. Now, this clone looks like Ripley, but other than that they seem very different, which could be because of the alien genes present in the clone. This clone resides on a ship crammed full of scientists and experiments, including some other clones we might recognize. That’s right, these dumb bastards cloned aliens, so that they could be controlled and used as military weapons. Of course, the scientists fuck up, and the nasty aliens escape, leaving only brutalized corpses behind. Even as a clone, Ripley hates the little shits, so she teams up with a band of smugglers who recently came aboard, in an effort to keep the aliens from infesting any further. Can Ripley and this motley crew manage to overcome the aliens, or will the entire galaxy be crawling with the aliens?
This is the fourth movie in the Alien series, and is widely held as the weakest link in the chain. While I think the movie is hammered too much, I do have to agree that as far as the series, this entry is the lowest ranked movie. The movie tries to recapture the style of Aliens, by moving the series back into action mode, with a renegade ensemble cast and stunts galore. Where Aliens is considered amazing, I’d call this movie average. It is better than most of the tripe out there in the genre, and I think simply because of the esteem of being in the Alien series, it endures over criticism. The film doesn’t attempt to be cerebral, it just wants to entertain you, and on that front I believe it succeeds. If you can remove the enigma of the Alien banner, I think a very good action/science fiction movie lurks here. The writing isn’t nearly as desperate as I thought it would be, and the production design and writing keep it fresh, this is not a rehash or rush job. We get to see more activity from those pesky aliens, see Ripley in a whole new light, and get rocked by some well crafted action scenes. Sure, this isn’t a great film…but it is a good movie.
While the directors of the other Alien films were familiar to me, I know very little about the man who was behind the camera here, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. He has a brief directing resume, consisting of mostly French films, but he does have a couple I had seen, The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen. While this movie is often scoffed at, I think Jeunet managed to create a unique entry in the series, which provides style and entertainment. With her fourth turn as Ripley, Sigourney Weaver (Death and the Maiden) is able to play the role with a new twist, and she seems to enjoy the change. Ripley is more violent and forceful in this installment, and Weaver plays it quite well. While Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice, Little Women) is a fine actress, this is simply not her cup of tea, although she is at least decent in her role. Some other noteworthy performers present here include Raymond Cruz (The Substitute, The Rock), Dominique Pinon (Frantic, Diva), J.E. Freeman (One Good Cop, Miller’s Crossing), Michael Wincott (Born On The Fourth of July, Strange Days), Dan Hedaya (Clueless, Dick), Brad Dourif (Urban Legend, Bride of Chucky), and Ron Perlman (Romeo Is Bleeding, Titan A.E.).
Video: How does it look?
Alien Resurrection is shown here in an anamorphic widescreen transfer, which is framed at the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This is easily the best looking visual transfer of the series, with no trouble at all to report. This film uses darker tones, much like the others in the series, but also features more color than the previous ones. The hints of red, blue, and other colors appear muted, but this serves the intentional visual effect. Other than those sparks of color, earthen and metallic tones dominate, and both look crisp and error free here. The shadows are sharp and well defined, and detail is perfect, even in the darkest places. Not even a trace of compression trouble emerges, this is a perfect transfer.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not only does this movie better than the other Alien flicks, it also sounds better, due in part to the fact it is also the most recent release. From the starting gate, the audio uses the surrounds to create an eerie atmosphere, but the speakers really shine during the action scenes. You’ll be hiding from the aliens and trying to fire with your remote, it sounds that good. All the surrounds are used well, including the subwoofer, which will have its hands full while you watch.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The disc includes theatrical trailers for all four Alien movies, as well as a very brief featurette, which features interviews and some behind the scenes footage.