Volume 91, Issue 52

Friday, November 28, 1997

location, location


Alien overkill

Gazette File Photo
DON'T YOU KNOW I CAN NEVER DIE? Sigourney Wesver and Winona Ryder attempt to revive aliens (and a tired plot) in Alien Ressurrection

By Yaseen Nimjee
Gazette Staff

The movie Alien was an original concept and the special effects were so good at the time, audiences were more than a little scared. When its sequel, Aliens was released, most people thought it was good and it almost outdid the first one. After the release of Alien 3, however, moviegoers began to realize Sigourney Weaver was getting too much mileage out of her "Ripley" role.

Her death at the end of Alien 3, seemed to assure the end. Flick fans, however, didn't account for the brilliant marketing people at Twentieth Century Fox – who created Alien Resurrection.

How is it that Ripley is still alive, 200 years after being killed in the last encounter in Alien 3? The answer is just another surprise brought by the spinsters at Twentieth Century Fox. Weaver still delivers those famous one-liners, but her dialogue is considerably weaker than the earlier Alien movies – or any of her other work for that matter. In short, there are only so many storylines that can be dreamed up which incorporate escaping or trying to kill predatory aliens. This latest installment in the Alien series does not differ much from the basic story concepts of the previous movies, but the special effects are better.

Winona Ryder's role in the film is equally as integral as Weavers', yet her main acting talents consist of mouthing off and looking scared. She shares with Weaver the archetypal role of warrior-hero, but her character fails to convince audiences the way Ripley does.

Michael Wincott (Metro), Dominique Pinon (The City of Lost Children) and Ron Pearlman (The City of Lost Children) co-star in Alien Resurrection. Along with Ryder they make up a band of renegade smugglers who work with Ripley to destroy the aliens. As usual, a lot of people get killed in the most horrible manner possible and the audience is left to play a guessing game as to who escapes alive. There are a couple of surprises, but nothing which makes the film original.

To director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children) credit, the pace is fast moving and liberally scripted – which is the essence of any good action flick. The special effects, as mentioned, are excellent and could possibly be the saving grace of Alien Resurrection. The music compliments the action, as quick sound sequences enhance the already graphic visuals, making the audience shiver with each loss of arm, foot or head.

Although this movie contains a strong cast, a solid director and plenty of startling effects, Alien Resurrection fails to distinguish itself from the other Alien films and comes up short on both acting and plot. While those familiar with the concept may be mildly entertained, don't expect any of the drama of Alien or Aliens. This film should be the nail in the coffin for the Alien series, although the ending left the hint of "unfinished business." Please Sigourney, we beg you – no more!

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997