Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Pearlman, Dan Heyeda, J.E. Freeman, Brad Dourif
After following two of the greatest science-fiction films ever made with an abject disaster in Alien 3, there certainly was nowhere to go but up with the next feature. So the filmmakers decided to take the franchise in a completely bonkers direction and to be honest, I enjoyed the mess that resulted in Alien: Resurrection.
Far into the future, a young group of mercenaries led by Annalee Call (Winona Ryder) seek to collect their payment and discover that a clone of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been used to create more xenomorphs. In this facility, the xenomorphs are studied and once again attempted to be used for monetary gain.
If you have seen any of these films, it’s evident to see the common thread that binds them all. It typically hangs around humanity thinking it can control all sorts of life and eventually trying to make a profit from them. It did not work so well in the first three films, and it will certainly not be the case once again, but at the very least, Alien: Resurrection knows it can have some fun in the process. With all of the self-seriousness in Alien 3, this film really leans into the ridiculousness of everything surrounding these creatures and the cloning of Ellen Ripley.
I enjoy this film much like I enjoy someone swinging for the fences and it resulting in a mediocre foul ball. Foul balls make sure there’s some energy left in the game. It happens so quickly and it might hit you if you cease paying attention. It may not inject anything good to the story, but it sure added something. Almost like downing multiple cans of Monster energy drinks, which may make you vomit in the end but you feel energetic in the couple seconds between ingestion to projectile vomiting. Have I made it clear why I enjoy some of this film? I mean, it has a clone of Ripley that happens to be weirdly horny for most the runtime. They also have a scene where they play basketball very intensely. Again, this film exists in the same franchise as the horror masterpiece, Alien, and the action spectacular, Aliens. Who could have ever thought that this franchise would have a basketball competition where Ellen Ripley dunks? Oh my goodness, this film.
The story utilizes the end of Ripley’s story and takes away the bravery of the original character into an all-powerful clone. It also has xenomorphs using a level of intelligence never shown in previous films where they are willing to kill each other for the ultimate gain of their shared objective. Along with those staples to the franchise, Alien: Resurrection also brings in a crew made up of 90s stars like Winona Ryder and Ron Pearlman. They just have to take in everything happening and they pretty much represent the audience going through whatever this story attempts to tell. The outfits and the attitude of the characters feel like it belongs in the 90s and with the overall tone of the film.
As with any film in the franchise, it follows these characters as they try to survive against the xenomorphs and try to protect Earth in the process. It marks a very interesting thread of the entire franchise. Many of the stories focus on getting rid of these aliens so they do not make their way to Earth, but as an audience, we never actually see the appearance of this Earth. Between the films, hundreds of years continue to pass, but we never see what they actually want to protect. We can assume that it may be the same Earth that we inhabit, but after hundreds of years, it would be interesting for them to show.
I have no tangible reasons for enjoying Alien: Resurrection. The story completely flounders throughout the story and the new xenomorph introduced has a laughable creature design. The characters are pretty ridiculous and the clone of Ripley gets away from everything that made the original so iconic. Not much merit, but I did enjoy its zaniness and its attempt to just throw all these ridiculous ideas at the wall and not landing on any of them. A truly bewildering final product but not one that can easily be forgotten.