Alien Resurrection (1997)

One of the most polarizing sequels in modern franchises, “Alien Resurrection” sometimes plays like several movies at once, like the filmmakers threw a bunch of different movie genres into a blender: It’s, at once, a big budget crowd-pleaser with screenwriter Joss Whedon’s unmistakable snappy dialogue, a grotesque art house nightmare come to life not unlike 1977’s “Eraserhead,” a European farce complete with slapstick humor, as well as a reasonably satisfying and faithful continuation of the Ripley saga (thanks to Sigourney Weaver’s deeply strange but effective performance). It’s really a lot to take all at once, not to mention director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s gleefully over-the-top visual flourishes and a woefully miscast Winona Ryder (who seems to be in a totally different movie than the rest of the cast), adding up to one of the most peculiar but undeniably poignant and compelling entries imaginable.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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