Alien Resurrection (1997)

Alien Resurrection (1997), directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

With a slightly different vision, it could have worked.

All the Alien films had a different director and different tone:

What to do next? Jean-Pierre Jeunet might seem like an improbable choice of director for the series, but he obviously has a bold imagination and can deliver his vision to the screen: a charming romance like Amélie (2001), epic mystery-romance in A Very Long Engagement (2004), the dark, quirky comedy Delicatessen (1991), and most particularly, the delirious industrial fable The City of Lost Children (1995).

Add Joss Whedon's much-rewritten screenplay and we see some possibilities. The pirate crew of The Betty anticipates the more likable ensemble of his Firefly. What about a team vs the alien? Malcom Reynolds and his crew are too light for this sort of film, but we could have had tougher, harder pirates who were more appealing than those in this film,

The problem is not so much with the characters we have, just that we do not get to know them. There is no time. The focus must be on Ripley, her sixth sense and curious alien-hybrid head motions. Since she became the sole survivor at the end of Alien (1979) Ripley became the central focus of the next two films. That leaves no time for other developments.

What if we had dropped Ripley and made it the tight-knit, appealing crew of darker-than-Serenity pirates vs the alien menace, however configured? Tone: witty adventure, dancing on the edge of the horror precipice.

Fans at the time would have hated it. No Alien movie without Ripley! (Well, she did die at the end of Alien 3 (1992)...) I would have hated it at the time, but reconsidering it now: it might have worked and been a good film. Different than the others, but each film has been unlike the others.

Other problems with the film as it is:

From the wikipedia, Joss Whedon's thoughts on the result:


It wasn't a question of doing everything differently, although they changed the ending; it was mostly a matter of doing everything wrong. They said the lines ... mostly ... but they said them all wrong. And they cast it wrong. And they designed it wrong. And they scored it wrong. They did everything wrong that they could possibly do. There's actually a fascinating lesson in filmmaking, because everything that they did reflects back to the script or looks like something from the script, and people assume that, if I hated it, then they'd changed the script ... but it wasn't so much that they'd changed the script; it's that they just executed it in such a ghastly fashion as to render it almost unwatchable.


Photographed by Darius Khondji -- The City of Lost Children (1995), Se7en (1995). I fuss over the plot so much that I tend to miss some lovely -- if ominous -- composition.

Available on Blu-ray. The commentary track has Jeunet, Dominique Pinon, and members of the crew.