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George At 

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Alien: Resurrection

Five years after the disappointment of Alien3, sci-fi fans were fed the most lackluster entry in the series with 1997's ALIEN RESURRECTION.

Sliding quickly down the slippery quality slope so fast it must be coated with that green alien slime, this entry takes place 200 years after Ripley died on the prison planet.

Conveniently for filmmakers, she's cloned by a group of scientists and then used as a host for an alien Queen. Because the scientists and the military are ALWAYS stupid in these movies, no matter what century they take place in, the docs think they can harvest the best pieces of the monstrous species for human good.


Brad Dourif (Dune, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) is as oddball as ever in the opening scenes as a wacko scientist who learns quickly that you cant keep these shiny xenomorphs in any cage for long.

Sigourney Weaver is the bright spot of the film as a kick-ass, alien/human hybrid version of Ripley that you can't quite pin down as either.

Her blood sizzles nicely on the floor and her memory and strength seem super-charged. She hasn't lost her flair for one-lines either, with "They'll breed, You'll Die" leading the way.

Very predictably, a ship full of traders lands to deliver stolen folks in suspended animation for the twisted breeding process and they get stuck on the massive army freighter along with the newly grown and recently escaped alien creatures.

Among them is Winona Ryder, horribly cast and out of her depth. She's so bad that Weaver nearly blows her off the screen every time they appear together.

Ron Perlman (Hellboy) fares best, especially during his brief one-on-one basketball match against Ripley. Dan Hedeya (Commando, The Usual Suspects) has some good quiet moments when he's not channeling the drill sergeant from "Full Metal Jacket" and watch for a young Gary Dourdan who followed up this role with a 15 year stint on CSI as investigator Warrick Brown.

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet was hailed as a visionary genius (The City of Lost Children, and I enjoyed his film Amelie) but he is a complete bust here. Think about all the fantastic visuals in Ridley Scott's "Alien". He crafted the dialogue free first ten minutes aboard the Nostromo, the descent into the alien craft, the chest-burster scene.

James Cameron brought strong visuals to "Aliens", including the massive civilian camp on the planet and the marines moving through it on every level, the jarring finale with Ripley v the Queen in the airlock.

Even David Fincher brought a fantastic opening sequence to Alien 3.

But here? Nothing.

There's not one visual here that inspires. It's all a bland interpretation of the script. Even the space shots of the massive ships seem out of focus and phoned in.

The only time the film comes to life for a few seconds is when it alludes to the previous films, with 15 seconds of Jerry Goldsmith's original score in the opening scene aboard the medical bay and the base-heavy WHOMP of a flashlight passing over the camera in tribute to the opening docking scene in "Aliens".

Boring, bland and dull, RESURRECTION is anything but. It killed the standalone Alien films and led to the moronic "Alien V Predator" films of the 2000's as Fox tried to squeeze every last dollar out of the property.

Weaver is the only thing that saves it in any measure, but even she's not enough to earn this last gasp of the series anything but a slimy D.

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