In 1997 – before most of you were born, there was a dismal 4th sequel to Alien which followed behind the stink of the already lukewarm Alien 3. Before I continue though, as a point of reference for your dim memory of this film – Alien 3 featured a dog alien and some criminals who were in prison for no other reason than free housing and food…then Ripley killed herself.
In Alien 4 the idea was simple – let’s bring back Ripley and continue the adventure that should have ended at the second sequel. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (who only had two directorial credits to his name at the time), for some reason saw this concept, thought it was absolutely amazing and took it upon himself to completely destroy his career and future prospects for the 4th instalment of Alien film that takes place 200 years after Ripley died on Fiorina 161.
The story follows an attempt to cash in on the potentials for military applications of the Xenomorph. Basically, the military assembled the biggest crew of idiots in white coats they could find, gave them highly advanced cloning equipment and told them to have at it. Needless to say – the scientists were up to no good and started making trouble in the neighborhood.
These scientists had the brilliant idea of using a pap smear and some blood from Fiorina 161 where Ripley died in Alien 3 for the simple reason of getting at the Alien Queen Embryo she was carrying at the time of death. So began the process to clone Ellen Ripley who ends up coming out as a cross between The Terminator & the chick from Species. At this point you think this might be good…then Ron Perlman & Winona Ryder of the U.S.S Dipshit show up with a cargo load full of humans to use in the breeding of an Alien army because the captain decided he needed some money for hookers and drugs.
These humans by the way – they think they are in stasis on their way to a mining colony where they’ll happily mine minerals in exchange for a salary…you know…and not be brutally murdered by aliens. What a fun surprise waking up to an alien egg that has a top bit that resembles a whale vagina.
As if nobody saw it coming at all, the whole thing quickly goes south as soon as the fully grown Queen’s soldiers figure out how to escape their little prison cells and all hell breaks loose. Then we get exactly what we expect from an Alien film and it’s actually quite fun as it progresses up to the point where they decide to tell you that the Alien Queen now has a human reproductive system…because you know – why the hell not?
The Alien Queen spontaneously laid 200 eggs, then decided to suddenly switch over to a human reproductive system…which is far inferior…to make herself perfect. What soon follows is a creepy scene with Ripley’s little Alien Clone Baby thing which kills the Queen and then goes looking for Ripley who’s now suddenly like…it’s friend or mother or…something (I don’t really know).
Ripley who of course has the loyalty of a potato betrays the little fucker and it gets sucked out through a hole the size of a dime into space with an expression on its face that will continue to haunt both my own nightmares and those of my children’s children’s children.
Needless to say, this film had issues at the box office.
The asshole model android
Undoubtedly you could tolerate much in this film – except Winona Ryder who plays the most annoying character in the history of cinema.
I’m not kidding. Annalee Call absolutely trumps Jar-Jar in both stupidity and annoyance. She’s supposedly a sympathetic android model – Winona Ryder saw this concept and then decided to play her character with the goal in mind to piss off everyone from her co-stars to the audience.
I swear…there’s this one scene where Ron Perlman is all pissed off and wants to kill her – we would have been fine if he did. We would have helped him. We’d have passed him weapons to use. Everyone unanimously agrees that Alien 4 would have been vastly more tolerable without the addition of Winona Ryder and her irritating character. Perhaps worse than that even is the fact that her character survives all the way to the end of the film and only has a minor injury whereas in previous films the cool android (Bishop) got killed off.
Cut out the alien/human reproductive system crap.
Next thing you do is 86 the alien/human hybrid Ripley clone creature and just have Winona Ryder’s character die horribly by having the Alien Queen sit on her. That’s literally all this movie needs to be good. Changing these minute details would have added a boost of at least 1 or 2 stars to the relatively average 6.3 out of 10 rating…. but no, we wanted Alien 4 and we weren’t going to get it without it being worse than Alien 3.
Actually – no. We never wanted anything after Aliens because we knew it would suck and surprise, surprise – it did suck…it not only sucked a third time but a 4th time.
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