Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Alien: Resurrection Review

In 1997, the Alien film franchise finally came to a close. And when it closed, it freaking slammed shut. This'll be my review for the film that almost killed a franchise. But is it really as bad as people think it is? Click to find out, and beware of spoilers.

200 years after the events of Alien3, the Weyland-Yutani company attempts to clone Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) to get the Alien Queen inside of her. The one she died to make sure they never got their hands on. But when they succeed, guess what happens. All hell breaks loose. Alright, let's talk about this thing.

As one of the biggest Alien fans you'll ever meet, let me be the first to say this film isn't the worst thing to ever happen to the world. There are a few things to like here. One of those things being the performances. Weaver 100% phones it in, but there are a couple that are enjoyable. Most notably Ron Perlman as Johner and Winona Ryder as Call. I feel terrible for them having to remember being in this movie, but at least they tried. Perlman is known to be a good actor, and he does a typically good job, while Ryder is fairly underrated in my opinion. Even if she needs to fire her manager the next chance she gets. And it's nice to see at least a little bit of care in this film.

Also, I feel there's one pretty enjoyable underwater sequence in this movie. We'd never seen the Aliens underwater before, and the scene really doesn't disappoint us as much as the rest of the movie. I have to admit. I was briefly entertained.

That's where the good stuff ends, though. I have to mention that the premise isn't awful. It doesn't
defile Ripley's character like Alien3 did because this clone ultimately isn't Ripley. But the execution is just laughable. First of all, they hired Jean-Pierre Juenet to direct this movie. Mostly, I think, because of his film The City of Lost Children. Which was a very visually distinct and disturbing film. But, once again, the Alien aesthetic is simply tossed aside in a favor of one that's simply not memorable at all. It also becomes clear that, for the most part, he doesn't know how to direct action. It can be hard to even tell what's going on at certain parts, and there are never any good scares or tense moments. And once again the CGI Alien looks terrible. Admittedly better than Alien3, but still looks like a cartoon.

So... Joss Whedon wrote this film. Is there someone else named Joss Whedon, by any chance? Maybe a Joss B. Whedon or something? Because I just can't believe he actually wrote this script. I mean, it's not TERRIBLE, but it's pretty bad. And it completely lacks the character interactions and intriguing dialogue he's known for. I just have no explanation for this. It's uninspired and lifeless and does nothing more than move the plot along. There also some... questionable story decisions, which I'll get to later.

Let's talk about Ripley for a second. Alright, moving on.

Heh. But seriously, that's all there is to say about her character here. She just... does things. She simply has no character.

The only other somewhat memorable characters in the movie are Johner and Call. Johner had a couple decent lines, and benefited from Perlman's performance, while Call was actually occasionally intriguing. Even if her character is very inconsistent. I feel like her personality was all over the place, which really undercut the potential for a cool character. Especially with the twist where she turns out to be an android. Could be interesting. Is Resurrection now going to explore themes of what it means to be alive and what does humanity really mean? Oh, no, nothing like that. Just more people dying. Wonderful.

One of this film's biggest problems, though is its pacing. Alien was a slow-building masterpiece. Aliens was a fast paced action film. Alien3 was a boring-ass... film. Resurrection had no idea what it wanted to be. One minute it would slow way down only to sprint for a couple scenes and then come to a screeching halt. It was pretty frustrating to watch altogether.

Alright, now let's talk about why people really hate this movie. So... Ripley shags an Alien. And I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Seriously!? Who's idea was this? Was it supposed to be edgy? Sexy? Disturbing? Well, it was at least one of those things. We're treated to a scene with an Alien holding Ripley and doing a fair amount of... thrusting, before later seeing the Alien Queen give birth to a human/Alien hybrid the way a human would. ...And just like that, one of my favorite sci-fi franchises of all time has become a Japanese porno. I mean... how did that even work? Who had what parts? And where did they put them? And how in the world did Ripley impregnate something? Did this clone have a penis? How does biology work? I actually don't think I want any of those questions answered. You think Alien3 was insulting? Oh man, those were the good ole days.

So then we have a human/Alien hybrid running around. I think. Who's only goal is to kill people and love Ripley. I'm not exactly sure what I was supposed to think of this thing. Was it supposed to be scary or cute? Was I supposed to be afraid of it or feel bad for it? I think the film wanted it both ways, but it wasn't either. It was just stupid. And it looked TERRIBLE. Like someone chewed up a steak, spit it back out, and decided to design it after that. It's just ridiculous. And at the end, we see a laughable scene where it gets sucked out of a small hole in the side of the ship. And it's hard to watch for all the wrong reasons.

This movie is terrible. It might actually be more entertaining than Alien3, but there's no question that this is where the franchise bottomed out. Despite a few good performances and moments, Alien Resurrection never overcomes it's horrible story decisions and failure to be good at literally anything else.

Final Score: 1.5/5

Yeah, I know, I liked it more than Alien3. Call it sacrilege, call me crazy, but I actually found this one to be more entertaining. Even if it's in all the wrong ways. At least this one isn't as boring as waiting for the oil in my truck to be changed. But do you agree with me? Or is this actually a misunderstood masterpiece? Here's a hint, it's not. Let me know how you do feel, though, in the comments, and stay tuned for the final two parts of my Alien franchise review here at ComicBookMovieNerd.com.

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