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Alien: Resurrection | movie review

The xenomorphs are back again... again.

 

Movie summary: 200 years after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/alien hybrid clone. Along with a crew of space pirates, she must again battle the deadly aliens and stop them from reaching Earth. (IMDb)


I've got to say that Alien: Resurrection isn't as bad a movie as I was expecting, which I'm aware isn't the most ringing endorsement someone can give a movie. This film does seem to earn a lot of stick when it comes to judging how well the Alien movies compare to each other - which is understandable, to an extent - but it's not quite the disaster some people like to paint it as.


So why is some of the criticism understandable? Because, while the movie itself isn't bad, it is a very bad Alien film and it feels like this would've been better received if this had been a new race of creatures instead of the iconic xenomorphs. Where Alien³ started to flesh out the creatures a little more, this film really mines that idea and seems to forget that the aliens have proven to be classic big screen monsters already.


"It if ain't broke, don't fix it" is a pretty well-known saying and it's one that a lot of the rest of Alien: Resurrection heeds, with plenty of character and plot moments echoing what we've already seen, making the changes to the xenomorphs feel that much stranger. It's not even the execution of these changes that's the issue, it just comes across more like adding needless complexity to a simple, lethal threat.


I do like the changes to Ripley's character though, even as merely a clone of the original. Sigourney Weaver has always played the unquestioned heroine of the series, so I did appreciate the shades of grey added to her character, although even that feels like there's something missing or being left for a sequel that never came, as the physical changes she undergoes are quite drastic to be left the way Alien: Resurrection finishes.


The biggest issue that the movie has, even ignoring how poorly it compares to the first two Alien films, is that it just seems to exist, as if being made for the sake of making another Alien movie. For once, the score would be a perfect reflection of the quality on display: the bad stuff never gets bad enough to sink the film, but neither does the good stuff do enough to elevate it.


I can't say that I felt I wasted my time watching Alien: Resurrection, but I don't think I could recommend others see it either. Much of it is spent presenting imitations of what has already been done better before in the series and the occasions it does try to do something new are a mixed bag at best - hell, it's probably for the best if you're not too familiar with the series (the first two especially), as you might get more out of it.


Alien: Resurrection isn't a bad movie, but it might qualify as a bad Alien movie - there's nothing particularly wrong with the film, but it doesn't really special either, and certainly nothing that can compare to the first two entries in the series. It really does feel like a 'filler' episode to get pieces in place for the next instalment, which winded up never happening and leaving this movie just... there.

[5/10 - Average]

 

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