‘I should have known. No human being is that humane…’
The fourth film in the Alien franchise is about as loved as Jar Jar Binks. Franchise star Sigourney Weaver commented that she only agreed to do Alien: Resurrection because the filmmakers ‘basically drove a dump truck full of money to my house’. Screenwriter Joss Whedon noted ‘there is always going to be a shitty Alien movie out there. A shitty Alien movie with my name on it’. For the life of me, I can’t understand the negativity when it comes to Resurrection.
Despite jumping into a pit of lava in Alien 3, Ripley returns in Alien: Resurrection as an alien/human hybrid clone. Joining her is a team of creepy scientists led by Brad Dourif and a crew of space pirates including Winona Ryder and Ron Perlman – both of whom are a lot of fun.
It is easy to see why there was criticism of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien entry. The tone veers wildly between action movie, hard sci-fi and goofy comedy, there are big question marks about the plausibility of the plot and Dominique Pinon sure is annoying. However, there are occasional flashes of brilliance inherent within Alien: Resurrection. The chase scene through the water is thrilling and the Aliens themselves have never looked better. Additionally, the scene in which Ripley discovers all the other monstrously deformed Ripley clones is chilling and visceral and even the Alien-being-sucked-out-of-a-tiny-hole ending is visually impressive.
Considering what came after, is Alien: Resurrection really all that bad? In many ways it is actually more enjoyable than Alien 3‘s mess of ideas and concepts. I’m all for trashing bad sequels (see Menace, Phantom), but Resurrection is not as bad as people make it out to be, it just isn’t as good as the first two films.