Alien reaches its fourth instalment and it comes from the unlikely pairing of Joss Whedon writing and Jean-Pierre Jeunet directing. Whedon is everywhere right now thanks to the success of The Avengers movie and Jeunet is best known for Amelie, although it is his dark fantasy The City of Lost Children that this most resembles.
200 years after the last film and Ripley is back, somehow. And there's a crew of weird space pirates which means we get Ron Perlman, Winona Ryder and the great Dominique Pinon. The only problem is I've never understood the whole weapons potential of the Aliens which seems to drive the plots of the sequels. I suppose if you could contain the beasties somehow you could fire them at your enemies. Clearing up afterwards might be a problem and there would be a lot of collateral damage. And as this film illustrates the whole issue of containing the Aliens is a bit of a problem. Acid blood seems to be a way out of every trap.
Still the whole idea of cloning Ripley to get Aliens to use as weapons does mean we get my favourite mad scientist Brad Dourif in charge of the whole experiment. And after an early exit he reappears at the end of the film to explain the science bit and let us know why Ripley is so cosy with the Alien hybrid thingy. I love Brad Dourif, he plays one of my all time top fictional doctors in Deadwood and he is great here. In fact the cast are generally fantastic.
The direction seems a bit strange and I still cannot quite understand how Jeunet went from this straight on to Amelie but that is the mystery of movies. The actual Aliens themselves are fine when they are the man in the suit but they turn to nonsense again once the CGI kicks in.
It's actually all a lot of fun and a fitting end to the series. Well, until the Predators got involved. And Sigourney Weaver actually did make that over the shoulder basketball shot!
Next is some AVP nonsense