Movie Review – Alien Resurrection

1997 Twentieth Century Fox

One Star

Alien ResurrectionI remember when Ripley died a heroic and graceful death falling into a fiery pit on a forgotten world. Four years later Alien Resurrection managed to erase any grace that was left in the Alien movie franchise and made me want to undergo brain surgery to forget I ever saw it. This is one of those movies that after the initial viewing I was absolutely puzzled why no one who was watching dallies during production came out and said “My god this is a piece of shit!”. Would that there were some brave individuals in the world of motion picture production who could speak up and spare the audience the pain of watching a truly excruciatingly bad movie. The entire Star Wars prequel trilogy would never have come to pass. What a nice thought…anyway on to the review.

Set two hundred years after Ripley kicked the bucket Alien Resurrection takes place mainly on a giant science vessel on which mad scientists have successfully cloned Ripley and the alien queen growing within her. Where they managed to get the genetic material for both is a mystery but many things in this movie are so it fits in a totally illogical kind of way. So of course Ripley becomes the center of things yet again this time in a different form as a basketball wiz and mega bitch with all the warmth of Pluto on a cold winters day. Soon a smaller ship, the Betty, arrives and delivers kidnapped people who are to be used as hosts to create more aliens, cue the evil music, twist the mustaches, etc. The Betty is manned by a crew of the most charmless and uncharismatic characters to be found outside of a Michael Bay movie. Well of course things go very wrong on the ship and soon blood is flying, acid is eating through things, and characters that we don’t give a crap about are dying left and right. That pretty much covers the story. What it doesn’t cover is the total horrid nature of just about every aspect of this movie.

To be totally blunt this movie is one of the worst big budget movies I have ever seen. I found almost nothing to like, the story is boring and ludicrous, the characters, except for one, are unlikable assholes, the pacing is choppy, the music is bland, and the special effects are strange. Worst of all in my opinion is the decision to bring back Ripley. There seems to be some unwritten law in Hollywood that a franchise cannot continue without its star. I say bullshit. The James Bond franchise is still thriving despite the title role being recast six times. The Planet of the Apes movies did quite well with rotating actors. If the story is good and told well the audience will come back for more. It’s clear the studio had no confidence that an Alien movie without Ripley could be successful so here she is again only this time she’s a bitch with a terrible wardrobe and her character did not draw the audience back to the theater in huge numbers.

The good:

Michael Wincott as the Captain of the Betty. He’s the only likable character and he gets bumped off way too early.

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Introducing the only character I gave a damn about in the entire movie!

The Betty is a cool ship and the model is awesome. They actually built several interesting models for the movie but totally underutilized them. When they are used they are not filmed well and don’t look that good onscreen.

It's the Betty! Cool ship badly filmed.

It’s the Betty! Cool ship badly filmed.

The aliens are still a great design.

Oh wook at da wittle baby awien. Oh sooo cute.

Oh wook at da wittle baby awien. Oh sooo cute.

The swimming aliens are kind of fun, too bad the sequence sucks.

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Jaws. The Revenge Again!

This movie had an awesome teaser trailer. It has kickass music and doesn’t give any of the plot away. Too bad the movie wasn’t anywhere near as interesting.

The bad:

The characters all walk around with the same “I’m so bad” attitudes and they all look like they just ate a lemon.

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Bitch.

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Bitch but cute at least.

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Dickhead.

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Weird.

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I think this is the only time someone smiles in the movie.

The pacing is awful, after every somewhat fast paced scene there is a scene of the characters slowly walking around the ship and then they stop and talk. There is no sense of urgency the way they casually saunter about. Even during so called action sequences the pace is so slow and the sequences are so dragged out I got bored a quarter of the way through them.

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“We must get off this ship fast. Lets walk slowly here and there and stop and talk a lot.”

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“Blah, blah, blah…”

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“Maybe we should run.”

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“Let’s talk about possible running.”

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“Where the hell are we?”

The ricochet the bullet off the duct work and hit the guard in the head sequence is ridiculous.

Hard to take Brad Dourif’s character seriously when he’s smiling and babbling like an idiot during the birth of the hybrid.

Oh...it's like a beautiful butterfly. The ugliest beautiful butterfly ever. So stupid... so terrible.

Oh…it’s like a beautiful butterfly…the ugliest beautiful butterfly ever…

The special effects look like paintings.

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I like my movies murky but not his murky.

The alien hybrid is one of the dumbest looking beasties I have ever seen. What a terrible design.

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I just can’t imagine why this design was chosen. This thing is laughably bad.

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Monsters should not have a little bumpy hooky thingy on the end of their nose.

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Nor should they have saggy booby thingies. This is just beyond awful. Look at it compared to the queen. Utter crap!

Random thoughts and observations:

Why does the alien operate the big red button with its pop out teeth? They do have hands. Looks like a situation where someone said “hey you know it would be funny if it used its teeth”. It’s not funny.

So the aliens pop out teeth have appeared to be made from a hard bony substance all throughout the series but look it's not.

So the aliens pop out teeth appeared to be made from a hard bony substance all throughout the series but look it’s not. Dumb.

How long can these people hold their breath? Look at them expelling air to make pretty bubbles that look great on camera!

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Hey dude, you do know that is air you’re expelling right?

Ripley’s alien orgy scene is so dumb it’s stupid.

Bow-chicka-bow-bow...

Bow-chicka-bow-bow…

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These two aliens confer and decide to kill a third alien in order to burn through the floor and escape their cell.

Sizzle, sizzle, we've escaped.

Sizzle, sizzle, we’ve escaped.

Later on this alien shoots acid out of its mouth into this guys face.

Later on this alien shoots acid out of its mouth into someones face. Yak yak…

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Sizzle, sizzle, ouch me face, me face! So if they’re able to shoot acid out their mouths why did they need to kill the alien in the cell to escape? Why didn’t they all just yak acid onto the floor or window? Did anyone review the screenplay before they filmed?

As much as I loved director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The City of Lost Children I have to say he was completely the wrong choice for this movie. There is a definite weird French vibe going on that clashes big time with the story and genre.

Why is the science vessel programmed to return to Earth when things go horribly wrong onboard? Wouldn’t you want to get the ship as far away from Earth to avoid endangering the population?

When things go wrong it's best to return the ship to where it could do the most damage.

When things go wrong it’s best to return the ship to where it could do the most damage.

What is with the apocalyptic ending off the extended version? I can see why they cut this. How generic can you get?

Huh?

Huh?

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