They're smart. They're fast. They're unstoppable killing machines. Let one into your script meeting and it'll wipe out your entire movie before you know what hit you. We call them "Fox Executives".

Alien Resurrection is an exploitation sequel to the Alien trilogy of films. It rides roughshod over the reasonably believable universe of its predecessors and adds exactly nothing to the formula. Whereas the previous movies were sort-of metaphors of other film genres (Alien? Jaws in space. Aliens? Vietnam in space. Alien 3? Err, some vague allegorical stuff about AIDS... in space), this one doesn't bother with such niceties. It's sort of like "Alien, the theme park ride" (except of course there was the excellent Alien War theme park ride, which was a much better idea than this).

The movie centres around the totally ridiculous premise that evil scientists have managed to clone the very, very dead and atomised Ellen Ripley. Furthermore, all their cloning attempts are fully grown, and are a hybrid of Ripley and the alien queen's DNA (and has some of Ripley's memory). I guess they could just about get away with this if they had some form of time travel, or captured Predator technology or some other kind of fanciful plot device, but no explanation is given - it's just a lazy way to bring back Ripley as a moody Alien-sympathising ninja.

Because of the involvement of a (no doubt filthy) French director (and fat nerdy talentless money-grubbing comic-book fanboy clown Joss Whedon) the film is all shiny-shiny (like Lost in Space or some such crap) and the cast are a collection of sideshow freaks with cardboard-cutout personalities. The 'plot' as it is staggers from one highly improbable event to another making ample time for the graceful Aliens to be on screen for minutes on end, annihilating any feeling of suspense or mystery.

As this movie annoys me just to think about what a disservice it does to its forebears, I'll just mention a couple more things:

One of the 'space pirates' is a small Frenchman in a wheelchair. OK, all very right-on but rather odd considering a) The bloke repeatedly hampers their escape, making it highly questionable whether he would have lasted five picoseconds in a space-pirate fight; and b) more to the point, this film is set several hundred years after the events of the first Alien movie, which established that mankind had developed androids, cryogenics, interstellar travel and God knows what else, so surely they could have 'rebuilt' the guy's legs? Or at least given him a mini-'walker' robot a la Aliens?

One of the captured guys, knowing that he has a chestburster inside him, uses it as a weapon to kill a bad guy. Shyeah, right. I think John Hurt made it abundantly clear that those things hurt.

The 'newborn' creature at the end of the movie. Apart from being exceptionally shit in concept and execution (and markedly inferior to the proposed H.R. Giger design), they kill it in a slightly over-familiar way. At least Alien 3 tried to vary the 'shoot them or flush them into space' formula a little.

Finally, I seem to recall H.R. Giger was monumentally pissed off with this film (either they didn't credit him at all or they dicked around with his designs just enough to get away without paying him). In either case, that's typical of the motivation behind this rather redundant, hollow flick.

In response to Retina's writeup below: It's a film about money, commissioned to further a brand. Joss Whedon might want to tackle the fundamental themes of the human condition, but the result is still a film that's about a thousandth part as entertaining, thought-provoking or emotionally engaging as the shamelessly commercial and hokey masterpiece that is Aliens. Resurrection is too broken and crashingly unsubtle to even begin to be 'frightening'.

All credit to Retina though, he/she sure writes a good massively pretentious overanalysis of a crap throwaway bit of grue. I for one can't wait to find out what Gremlins 2 is a meticulously crafted allegory for.