Sunday, May 21, 2017

Movie Review: Alien: Resurrection

The fourth installment in the Alien franchise resuscitates the series with a clever conceit from the writing of Joss Whedon. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been cloned by remnants of her DNA in order for the military to harvest the xenomorphs. Weyland has long been defunct, bought out by Wal-Mart, but the military of the United Systems is still making the same mistakes by training to gather and harvest the alien creatures. A crew of smugglers led by Elgyn (Michael Wincott) brings a human cargo to the military spaceship in exchange for money and a brief stay. The aliens are tested by the researchers Gediman (Brad Dourif) and Dr. Wren (J.E. Freeman). General Perez (Dan Hedaya) leads the military operation.

The aliens learn quickly and kill one of their own to melt through their enclosures and escape. They proceed to kill the military but the smugglers remain alive. Call (Winona Ryder) was secretly working with the smugglers in order to kill Ripley and stop the aliens. Elgyn is killed by the aliens during the initial attack, and the remaining smugglers including Johner (Ron Perlman), Christie (Gary Dourdan), and the handicapped Vriess (Dominique Pinon) attempt to escape. Along with fellow smuggler, Elgyn's lover Hillard (Kim Flowers) and another surviving soldier Distephano (Raymond Cruz), the crew tries to make it past the 12 remaining xenomorphs.

Ripley discovers that she has seven other clones and that she is the eighth and first successful one. She still has characteristics of the xenomorphs like acid blood and super strength but the others are hideous so she torches them. The stumble upon an infected man Purvis (Leland Orser) and agree to take him along until the alien burst from his chest. In one of the cooler scenes of the Alien franchise, the crew has to swim through a flooded area and are attacked by swimming xenomorphs. They come out the other side but lose several members of the crew. It is revealed that Call is an android when Dr. Wren shoots her. 

Call is able to plug into the ship's control and clear the way for the crew to make it to their ship. All they have to do is run 100 yards but Ripley stops, sensing the queen. Aliens drag her down to the nest where the queen is birthing a human-xenomorph hybrid as Gediman watches in amazement. The hybrid bursts from the womb, kills the queen, and eats Gediman. Ripley runs but the hybrid pursues. The crew takes off but Purvis has to kill Dr. Wren with his chest-burster and the hybrid kills Distephano. Ripley uses her acid blood to melt a hole in the ship and the hybrid is sucked out to die. The crew crash lands on Earth, which has been destroyed.

Alien Resurrection is a strange addition with weird characters and updated special effects, but the whole things is a ton of fun to watch. The action looks great and never seems like anyone is taking this film too seriously. There is plenty of alien gore and death to satisfy horror fans and a wild sci-fi plot to follow along with. Sigourney Weaver plays a new type of Ripley who is more extreme as she is blended with the xenomorphs that she ruthlessly kills. Alien Resurrection doesn't get a lot of love but it sticks with the franchise. 

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