Alien Resurrection is a science fiction film released in 1997 by 20th Century Fox and the fourth installment in the Alien franchise. Directed by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the film is based on a screenplay by Joss Whedon. With a budget of $70 million, Alien Resurrection was the first film in the Alien series to be filmed outside of England, at Fox studios in Los Angeles, California.
In the film, which is set 200 years after the preceding installment Alien 3, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is cloned and an Alien queen is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study and research on the spaceship USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens escape their enclosures, while Ripley and the mercenaries attempt to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination, Earth.
200 years after the events of Alien 3, military scientists on the outer space vessel USM Auriga create a clone of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), using DNA from blood samples taken before her death. They extract from her the embryo of an Alien queen that had been growing inside her at the time of her death, and raise it to collect its eggs for further use. The Ripley clone is kept alive for further study. As a result of her DNA being mixed with the Alien’s during the cloning process, she develops enhanced strength and reflexes, acidic blood, and an empathic link with the Aliens.
A group of mercenaries soon arrive in their ship, the Betty, delivering several kidnapped humans in stasis. The military scientists use them as hosts for the Aliens, raising several adult Aliens for study. The mercenaries encounter Ripley, and their youngest member, Call (Winona Ryder), recognizes her name. Call attempts to kill Ripley, believing she may be used to create more Aliens, but Call is too late; the Aliens have already matured and quickly escape their confinement, damaging the ship and killing most of its crew. Dr. Wren (J. E. Freeman), one of the ship’s scientists, reveals that the Auriga’s default command in an emergency situation is to return to Earth. Realizing that this will unleash the Aliens on Earth, Ripley, the mercenaries, Wren, a marine named DiStephano (Raymond Cruz), and a surviving Alien host, Purvis (Leland Orser), attempt to escape on the Betty and destroy the Auriga.
As the group makes their way through the damaged ship, several of them are killed by the Aliens. Call is revealed to be an android after Wren betrays the group. Using her abilities to interface with the damaged ship’s systems, they set it on a collision course with Earth, hoping that the Aliens will be destroyed in the crash. Ripley learns that the Alien queen has gained a human ability from her DNA as well: now possessing a womb, it can give birth to live offspring without the need for eggs and human hosts. The resulting offspring, which bears a mixture of human and Alien traits, recognizes Ripley as its mother and kills the Alien queen.
Ripley and the surviving mercenaries arrive at the Betty. As they launch, the human/Alien hybrid attacks Call. Ripley kills it by using her own acidic blood to burn a hole through a viewing pane, causing the creature to be sucked violently through the small hole and into the vacuum of space. The survivors escape in the Betty as the Auriga collides into Earth.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this film:
First Published: Jan 7, 2012 – Last Updated: Apr 28, 2013