Sunday, January 26, 2014

Alien Resurrection - Jean-Pierre Jeunet

The guy who gave us Amélie also brought us aliens with feelings and sexual desire. After a while, all movie franchises die, and when they do, it’s usally in a very bad way: Rambo was this close to fight with the Taliban for the freedom of Afghanistan….

The biggest virtue of the first three Alien movies was the idea that nature has no morals, even if it comes from the outer space: after the optimism of Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien explored the idea that aliens could be ruthless predators looking for living-nests for their offspring: pure survival instinct, nothing else. Jeunet killed that central tenet of the saga.

One big problem of Alien Resurrection is its abuse of gore. Gore is usually used a substitute for plots: if you don't know how to close a sequence, just show the brains of a random guy. There should be a metric regarding how many guts and brains can be shown before a movie is considered bad. Whatever the metric is, I’m sure Alien Resurrection surely surpassed it. The directors of the previous three movies were smart and creative enough to keep a right balance between horror, action, suspense, and the right amount of blood on screen.

The other problem with this movie is that it opens too many fronts that are left unexplored throughout the picture: corporate fascism; the moral dilemmas of cloning; Ripley’s ideas as a half-alien half-human; the aliens’ seemingly newly acquired rationality; outer-space piracy, among others.

In defense of Alien Resurrection, it must be said that it was one of the first movies to talk about the moral dilemmas of cloning (one more topic that is left unaddressed). The movie was released right after the announcement of the successful cloning of Dolly.

I recommend the alternate version of Alien Resurrection, which actually closes the saga (the original version has an open ending). But even then, XXX couldn’t avoid the temptation of showing his French credentials, which was totally unnecessary.

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