Here they come again



Here they come again

Alien Resurrection

Review by Mary Merkenich

I must admit I enjoyed the very first Alien, but Alien Resurrection, number four in the series, is not worth spending your hard-earned money on. It's sexist, extremely gory and violent, and the plot is very simple.

Although its top-billed stars (Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder) are two women, the sexism is hard to miss. Yes, Ripley is a strong woman (stronger than the menacing males) and she is the heroine who stops the aliens, but both women are extremely alluring, no matter how much terror or near death experiences they encounter.

Secondly, much of the dialogue in reference to female characters is about their sexual appeal. One comment made about Call (Ryder) is that she is "severely fuckable". It could be excused as the severely repressed and limited vocabulary of the stereotypical macho male, but I felt much more the aggressive "power over women" syndrome, with just a pinch of misogyny.

Gore, well there's heaps of it and right in your face. It's gratuitous, devised to appeal to bored and alienated thrill seekers, who I guess the producers hope are numerous.

Sigourney Weaver is a fine actress and demonstrates this with her portrayal of the sometimes mysterious and threatening Ripley (now that she has alien blood in her). I found Ryder, on the other hand, unconvincing and her delivery of lines often stilted.

The future demonstrated in this film is absolutely bleak. Most of the characters are selfish, united only by necessity or greed. Evil rules. The only two challenging this evil are the fairly pathetic Call and the regenerated half-alien superwoman Ripley.

The aliens are wholly wicked and ruled by very primary instincts. Is this a certain kind of ideology about "aliens" of any kind we are being surreptitiously fed?

I'd much prefer to spend my time and money on a film like Contact than a film whose only message seems to be negative, and violently so. Sometimes a movie showing a dismal or horrible future can alert viewers to terrible possibilities. But sometimes a movie is simply a horror movie, with no message.

I believe Alien Resurrection does have messages, but none of them are useful.