Friday, November 14, 2008

Alien Resurrection

Alien Resurrection; science-fiction action, USA/ France, 1997; D: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, S: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Dan Hedaya, Brad Dourif

In a space station, scientists manage to clone Ripley using her dead tissue 200 years after her death, and with her the monstrous Alien too, placing it in a laboratory to extract vaccination out of it. A group of space bums enters the station, among the female android Call and some man in a wheelchair. But the Aliens kill one of their members and use it's acid blood to make a hole in the laboratory and escape. Ripley also escapes and runs with people through the corridors. Many die and she falls in a chamber where the parent Alien doesn't touch her. The Alien gives birth to a half-white Alien who kills her while Ripley finishes it off with the space vacuum. The station burns out in orbit while Ripley and Call save themselves.

The "Alien" franchise, whose best contribution is Cameron's excellent 2nd part from '86, went through a crisis in "Alien 3" because the heroine Ripley died there so the screenwriters had to come up with a new idea, the one about her clone, to revive it. When Hollywood also managed to persuade the genius director Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Amelie") to take over the direction, many expected miracles. Yet, in the end, "Alien 4" didn't sparkle: it is a good sci-fi, full of strange set designs, camera angles and an impressive underwater action sequence - and has one fresh twist that the previous "Alien" films don't have, humor - but unforgivably falls into trash at times. Too much slime, too little style. The best parts are when scientists say to Ripley that they will train the Alien, upon which she replies with: "Like: sit, lay down?"; Dominique Pinon in the role of a man in a wheelchair and a scientist who makes grimaces on the glass to the captured Alien. Still, Jeunet's visual style is appeased, the massacres are stupid while the bizarre scene where Ripley is "cuddling" with the body of the parent Alien (intercourse with the Alien?) is completely confusing, though Winona Ryder is once again sweet in the small role of android Call.


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