First off, I’m not going to sit here and lambast Alien: Resurrection as a worthless piece of worm-riddled, steaming dog shit. There are two reasons for this. A: Everybody else has already done that. And, B: “Worthless piece of worm-riddled, steaming dog shit” doesn’t quite cover the abomination that is Alien: Resurrection. Or, as some of us have taken to calling it: ARse.
ARse was Fox’s new attempt at revitalizing (read: make more money from) the Alien franchise. The first two films had been absolute successes and are still hailed as masterpieces in the horror/suspense/sci fi genre. Alien 3 had been a bit of a letdown, but still had entertained folks. Of course, Ripley, Newt, Hicks and even the android were officially toast at the end of the third movie, but that’s nothing that a bit of soap opera-esque plot wrangling couldn’t defeat.
So Fox decided to saddle up its acid-blooded steed once more. This time, with director Jean Pierre Jeunet riding lead and a seriously surgically upgraded Sigorney Weaver riding shotgun. And let’s throw Winona Rider in the mix to call out the aged 15-25 geekboys. Ripley’s dead? No sweat, man. We’ll clone her from 200 year-old DNA. She’ll even share some of the aliens’ traits such as acid blood, inhuman reflexes and a fucked-up attitude towards virtually everybody. But she’ll still be basically the same old Ripley that the fans know and love, only with a few “modifications”.
Somehow, I doubt I was the only person in the theater who said “what the fuck?” several times during the course of that movie.
ARse failed literally at every turn. It tried to recapture the earthy realism of the main characters in Alien and Aliens… and failed. The characters came off more as poorly constructed space cowboys and archfiends rather than the expertly crafted future working stiffs and grunts of the first two films. The film tried to recapture the creaking, claustrophobic confines of the Nostromo in the first film… and failed. The Auriga came off as a totally unbeleivable spacebound piece of shit rather than a vessel you could picture people actually working in. The weapons everybody carried were these weird cartoonish things that looked as though they should have shot little yellow foam darts.
And although space might be a vacuum, it isn’t going to suck anybody through a two-inch hole in a window. Why? Because the air pressure at sea level is only 14.7 psi. If the spacecraft were pressurized to sea level and you stuck your ass on a hole in the hull, you *might* get a moderately nasty hickey. Maybe. This concludes the esplanation of why the lamest scene in the entire movie was indeed so lame.
Even Weaver’s usually flawless performance as Ripley suffered in this film. She wasn’t the battle-hardened survivor anymore. This time around she was some weird, psuedo-evil, halfway good… I dunno. One minute, she’s twisting off like a Snapple lid, kicking everybody’s asses and taking names when she damned well feels like it. The next moment, she’s being all motherly and nurturing to Winona Rider’s character. The moment after that, she’s just collapsing like a wet rag and letting some alien drone carry her off to its lair when she should have been wedging her foot up its ass. And Winona Rider.. don’t even get me started on that one. Suffice it to say, the only thing she does worse than shoplift is act in this movie.
Which brings us to my next point: The Aliens.
Yeah, most of the aliens in this movie are just as they’ve always been: Evil, cunning predators that pick off the hapless humans one-by-one. Some of the alien scenes were even cool. The shot of the alien dropping into the lifeboat and turning the screaming wimps inside into grease spots on the windows was priceless. You even got to see aliens swimming. Which was OK, I guess. If you’ve ever wanted to see aliens swim. But that’s were the aliens’ coolness ends. Abruptly. First off, the Queen is back. Only this time around, she isn’t some hissing uber-badass rampaging about the ship impaling people like she was making shish kabobs. In Alien: Resurrection, the Queen is a pansy. She doesn’t kill a single person. She doesn’t even move. In fact, she gets utterly wiped out by quite possibly the shittiest, dumbest, most preposterous monster in movie history: The Newborn.
Picture a nude Maria Shriver with dental problems and a liberal amount of slime. That’s the Newborn. Note to Fox: If you ever manage to bring the Alien franchise out of the smoking crater you’ve driven it into, DO NOT allow anybody but Giger and Cameron to design the monsters. Ever. The Newborn was the single worst thing about his movie. In a sea of shit, it’s the biggest turd. It’s just so incredibly unbeleivable that it’s laughable. AT one point, it even says: “Mommy”.
I shit you not.
There were some bright spots, though. Two, to be exact. Ron Perlman and Micheal Wincott. Perlman is his usual wisecracking badass self and Micheal WIncott uses his rusty piano wire voice to utter the only halfway decent line in the entire damned movie. These guys are two of the most underrated actors in Hollywood and deserved to showcase their respective talents in a movie that wasn’t Arse. In fact, the best acting in the damned movie is only available on the special edition DVD. It’s the deleted scene where Weaver tries to make a one-handed blind three-point shot… and actually succeeds. Perlman breaks character immediately out of sheer disbelief and his reaction is absolutely priceless.
Other than that, Alien: Resurrection was a total waste of time and money that has received every bit of derision it deserves. It was a blatant attempt to wrangle money out of the hands of loyal fans with absolute cinema shit and I for one have not forgotten it. The only reason I own the DVD at all is because it came with the nine-disc “Quadrilogy” set and I didn’t have to heart to break up the set by taking the two Resurrection discs out into the front yard and using them for target practice. I give this lump of festering crap one bone out of ten. Not because it has merit, but because it’s only slightly less excruciating than giving myself a vasectomy with a rusty melon baller.