Alien 4 - Resurrection

With the dust now settled on what at the time seemed like a step into left field, the time as come to take a closer look at Alien 4 Resurrection. As it stands, the template for the Alien movies that followed was set here, the earlier films really belonging to a different era. The CGI creatures retain an other-worldly quality, and menace.

In simple terms of how much xenomorph action does the viewer get, the answer is a lot. Screen time given over to the monsters is hugely increased on 1992’s Alien 3, and introduces further understanding of their social order, particularly in early laboratory scenes.

The film goes a long way to avoid walking through scenes from the previous movies, with new variations of the species (to say more would spoil the plot somewhat), and smart set-pieces. The standout sequence is the naturally the famous underwater chase, but also pay attention to the smart execution of the attack on the ladder that follows minutes later.

Cinematically, Amelie director Jeunet pulled the look and feel of the series in a new direction, which with hindsight was a better decision than it had felt at the time. The first three films- while classic- show their age, this decade old sequel still feels contemporary. And there’s much pleasure to be had from the casting too.

Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder take top billing and the majority of narrative focus as the Ripley and Call, but the smaller players are equally entertaining. Ron “Hellboy” Perlman gives good value in a smaller role, as does Michael Wincott, still probably best known as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

While it neatly dodges franchise repetition, Alien 4 Resurrection is still essentially a greatest hits package of the previous movies, which is no bad thing. With solid CGI that holds up today, this fourth instalment is maturing nicely with age.