Alien Resurrection

on November 26, 1997 by Christine James
Someone went crazy with the fake flesh and exoskeletons in the Fox creature shop, to impressive and exciting results. Just when you thought you couldn't be surprised by a special effect, along comes a new breed of "Alien."
Once again, a dangerously dimwitted and erroneously overconfident organization (this time the government, not a corporation) thinks it can breed the double-jawed, acid-blooded, perennially murderous aliens to tame and use as weapons. In the last film, our bold Geiger guerilla Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) discovered she was impregnated with nothing less than a Queen alien; in an attempt to finally obliterate the race, she jumped into a handy pool of molten lead, killing herself and the savage symbiont. Now, 200 years later, scientists manage to clone Ripley from some blood found at the scene of her demise in order to extract the Queen.
The cloned Ripley is just as tough as we remember but now, with alien DNA co-mingled in her blood, she is eerily apathetic, or at least ambivalent, upon discovering that the creatures she risked her life to exterminate over the course of three harrowing movies have been brought back to life by the same class of megalomaniac idiots who endangered her and the rest of the human race in the first place.
With new instincts and possibly new allegiances, the reinvented Ripley is intriguing to watch as her true nature unfolds. Weaver is commanding, obviously relishing the opportunity to play Ripley with the icy cool confidence her character's new circumstances have afforded.
It may be somewhat cartoonish and over-the-top, and the scenario is a little overly-familiar (a rag-tag team of misfits use their eccentric abilities to save their own skins and the world), but a rivetingly creepy performance by Weaver as the resurrected Ripley, along with some truly memorable monsters, frees this fourth film in the "Alien" franchise from the redundancy one might expect, instead engineering an entertaining, if excessively gory and goo-splattered, thriller. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman, Michael Wincott and Dan Hedaya. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Joss Whedon. Produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill and Bill Badalato. A Fox release. Action/thriller. Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and gore, some grotesque images and language. Running time: 108 min.
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