After 1992's abysmal Alien
3, the masterminds at 20th Century Fox just
had to find a way to bring back Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) for one
last go round in the Alien universe. One would think that after five years
of brainstorming and script options, they would have created a kick-ass
finale to the Alien series. Unfortunately, they did not.
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder,
and Brad Dourif
Picking up 200 years after Ripley was killed on a prison planet, a rogue
band of scientists is attempting to breed the xenomorphs that have slaughtered
everything and everyone they've come in contact with. Apparently, this
time around, the scientists are looking for a method of urban pacification.
By extracting genetic material from the body of Ellen Ripley, who was
carrying an alien fetus when she died, the scientists believe that they
may have found a way to tame the aliens by infusing them with human genetic
When a ship carrying a cargo of potential victims arrives at the scientists'
space station, its motley crew finds themselves in the middle of an experiment
about to go horribly wrong. The aliens, courtesy of their human genetic
information, are now smarter but no less dangerous, nor willing to listen
to the demands of a few measly scientists. When some of the aliens escape
from their holding pens, the crew and the newly cloned half-breed version
of Ripley attempt to make their way off the station, which is hurling
Although the movie contains a lot more action than the previous installment,
it still fails to excite. Mainly, this is due to the fact that aside from
Ripley, these characters aren't fleshed out enough for us to care whether
the aliens kill them or not. Actually, Ripley isn't REALLY Ripley and
the aliens, quite frankly, aren't very numerous or scary.
As the movie unfolded, I kept wondering if the movie had been heavily
edited. It still ran a little longer than necessary, but still managed
to leave me feeling as though the film was missing chunks of dialogue
that might explain a few things for clarity's sake. Still, even if that
dialogue was present, the movie still misfires in so many ways, it's unlikely
I would have enjoyed it any more.
The alien effects are top-notch and the sets are properly claustrophobic,
but the key ingredients like worthwhile characters, a decent storyline
and an ending that's worth the wait are all missing. Hopefully, the series
will end on this note and not raise hopes that anything will even attempt
to top James Cameron's 1986 benchmark sequel, Aliens.
Weaver actually made the behind-the-back half-court basketball shot
on her own, despite the fact that the way the ball disappears offscreen
for a split second before going into the basket implies that she had
offscreen help. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)