Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh

"She'll breed. You'll die," says Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) to the futuristic mad doctors who've just scored themselves an alien queen. She does and they do, which isn't precisely giving away key plot points. Two things and two things alone

really matter in an ALIEN movie: the aliens and Ripley. This third sequel -- directed by French cult auteur Jean-Pierre Jeunet -- features the slimy, Giacometti-esque aliens in all their Freudian glory, and gives Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley a creepy new lease on life. Quite literally, as it

happens: Dead at the end of the gloomy ALIEN 3, Ripley returns 200 years later via the marvels of cloning. The instruments of her resurrection: military doctors laboring under the usual delusion that the aliens can be cultivated, studied and used. They've only brought Ripley back so they can

extract the alien she killed herself to eliminate, and they ignore her blunt predictions at their peril. The plot is more of the same old running and screaming, but Weaver is worth the price of admission all by herself, which is just as well in light of the less-than-fleshed out characters by whom

she's surrounded. That said, while Winona Ryder is exceptionally unconvincing as a soft-spoken space waif who's not quite what she seems, the rest of the supporting players more than get by on their faces, which appear to have been chosen expressly for their cartoonlike expressiveness. The aliens

glisten and scream -- the scene in which they swim through a submerged galley like so many monstrous mermaids is coolly nightmarish -- and devour most of the cast, so it doesn't pay to get too attached to them. But you knew that.