Criticizing a game-based zombie sci-fi horror for being spinoff is like criticizing a sandwich for having bread in it! And just now, as the world sings the praises of The Batman to be like Se7fr and Zodiacor when the Joker came out it was a “ooo, great, it’s like a Scorsese
counterfeit movie!” seems particularly unfair. As anyone has said, there’s nothing new under the sun, and drawing inspiration from the movies Anderson loves isn’t a crime. Indeed, he’s a fan confessed to Ridley Scott (however, I agree that this owes more to aliens than Scott’s original).
Second, on your point about nostalgia – well, we were all of a “certain” age in 2002, but I’m assuming you mean a teenager. What I was not. I remember seeing the movie at the time and liking it, and also, for the record, not every Resi the sequels are bad, I have a weakness for Extinction…even though it wasn’t directed by Anderson, but still…
In short, not at the simple nostalgia angle, I saw it again on Sunday and it holds up. It may be true that some teenagers liked Alice because she was a pretty girl. But I love Alice because she’s the hero. She’s an environmentalist trying to bring down a huge corporation. She is a fighter, who is only made “safe” in the first half of the film due to memory loss. She refuses to kill Michelle Rodriguez’s Rain even though it would have meant safety for her and the other team members. She’s powerful, good, honorable, and cool, and Jovovich has a great screen presence. We celebrate many male stars for their talents as martial artists and stunt performers, and she deserves her contribution here as well.
She might be walking in Ripley’s footsteps, but others have since joined her ranks, and we’re not mad at Furiosa for having some of Ripley’s DNA. There just aren’t that many badass female protagonists (certainly in 2002 but still now), so the similarities stand out. Find me a female genre protagonist, who *doesn’t* compare to Ripley in any way, or a female-led genre franchise that isn’t in Extraterrestrial‘s shadow and I’ll… give you a nice smile and generally be satisfied. And you seriously don’t think Newt was the first scary little kid in a horror movie, I guess?
Movies riff on other movies. I mean, the number of movies that tip a hat to die hard are legion (here are 16 films that are ‘Die Hard on a…’). And actually, re-reading your list, where you say it’s kind of like, aliens, The matrix, jurassic park, x-men and Speed – ouiiiiiiiii!!! Isn’t this a movie you would like to see???