Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is back, 200 years later, to discover that her 'resurrection’ is the result of a scientific experiment, cloning her preserved blood samples in order to give birth to the alien creature she was carrying – for scientific exploration. Ripley's DNA gets mixed up with the alien Queen bug’s and she begins to develop certain alien characteristics. The scientists begin breeding the aliens, which manage to escape. Soon the Xeno-morphs are running amok on the ship, which is on course to Earth. The Queen gives birth to a deadly new breed of alien, which could spell disaster for the entire human race. It's up to Ripley and a band of space pirates to stop the ship before it reaches earth.

This surely is the bloodiest, most gruesome of the lot.

Well, are you ready? The fourth in the Alien series is here, and for those of us who mourned Ripley, fear not, she's back, maybe not exactly her old self, but as near as dammit... The humans in the series have always been stupid, greedy people and in Alien Resurrection they're just plain stupid. Haven't they got the other three films preserved on disc somewhere? Don't they know? Apparently not, because out there in space somewhere is a Medical Research ship that is actually breeding the little buggers, and Ripley, who's been reconstructed from blood samples found on the planet where she died is the host to one of them. But things change when a commercial space vehicle arrives bearing smuggled cargo; for the crew - Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan and Michael Wincott, it's time for R & R... but then again, maybe not...

We've seen how various directors have shaped each film in this series as their own - Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher and now Jean-Pierre Jeunet - he with Marc Caro of Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children fame. His visual style is unmistakable, but perhaps also is his love of the grotesque. This surely is the bloodiest, most gruesome of the lot. Not quite an action film, not quite thriller or horror, Alien Resurrection surrenders action to comic drama, guns to the grotesque. It's a strange and at times uncomfortable mix. However, Joss Whedon's screenplay, which explores maternal love, loyalty and humanness gives Sigourney Weaver as Ripley some dead cool lines which she delivers with panache. Ron Perlman, who, along with Dominique Pinon, must be a favourite actor of the director, is terrific as Johner. Maybe you'll feel at the end of this that you've had enough of these particular Aliens, but the look of this film alone - the cinematographer was Darius Khondji who shot Jeunet's two previous films as well as Seven - makes the price of a ticket worthwhile - if you're prepared to stand the gore. Be warned.


David: I liked it very much. I think this is a modern classic of science fiction. I think it's a beautiful film, really stunningly beautiful, and very scary as well. And Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder are both splendid. I really liked it a lot. I'm giving it ★★★★ ½.