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A truly painful cinematic experience.

  • Sep 26, 2012
Rating:
-3
*1/2 out of ****

"Alien 3" is a truly detestable disaster. It shall forever be known as the first truly weak link in the "Alien" franchise after an impressive two-film winning streak. It shall forever be regarded as the one bad movie that director David Fincher - who has gone on to make a name for himself with great films like "Fight Club" and "The Social Network" - ever made, that is unless he goes on to make another relatively like it. Then again, the man more or less behind this catastrophe doesn't like to think that he really is. And watching the film, you're inclined to agree with him. Quite simply, it's not Fincher's fault that "Alien 3" is terrible. He tries hard, but can't inject his seedy, intoxicating visual stylistics into the story or even as much as an individual frame. This problematic second sequel has studio interference written all over it.

Before I get into the multitude of problems that I personally have with this film as well as the ones that it undeniably bears, I'll attempt to describe the basically meaningless and nonexistent plot. It picks up where "Aliens", the James Cameron helmed sequel to the Ridley Scott directed "Alien" of 1979, left off; Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) escapes the Saluco spaceship in a pod with Newt, Hicks, and damaged android Bishop. They're all in cryonic stasis and are eventually found by a colony composed entirely of mostly bald men with pasts pertaining to crime and sexual violence against women. Obviously, Ripley is the only one alive when the pod crashes into their ship; thus putting her in yet another uncomfortable situation. Oh, boy.

And what do ya know, she's brought a friend along with her; a face-hugger that finds its way to a dog on the ship and basically uses its body as a host for yet another variation on H.R. Giger's Xenomorph. We get brief introductions to the inmates of the ship (there's a spiritual adviser played by Charles S. Dutton, a doctor played by Charles Dance, and Brian Glover as the ship's warden); although it matters not whether they're good characters or not. What matters is whether they will serve as good prey for the titular alien. There's a whole lot of blood, guts, violence, and running down ominously lit hallways but not a whole lot of intelligence or logic. Just a whole lot of pretentious, pseudo-intellectual philosophical bullshit and some gruesome kills. Oh, and a really stupid ending.

The studio made pretty much all the cuts here. The film was shot without a completed script and initially Weaver didn't even want to return. Why did she? Let's just say a lot of money was promised, because I get the sense that she really does have a deep connection with her Ripley character and thus would have been able to tell that the script - as it is - does absolutely nothing to further develop her. As for Fincher, well, he's a fascinating director and this being his directorial debut, you can certainly see a few of his stylistic flourishes beginning to bud, but none of them come full circle. He's not meant for by-the-numbers slasher horror/sci-fi flicks. But I have no doubt on my mind that, if given the creative freedom, he could have made this thing work.

The direction just feels very awkward overall. The location is at least somewhat interesting and there are a few inspired shots, but what's it all amount to? Not a whole lot to be honest. It's rather painful to watch for the most part, seeing one of my favorite directors get rooted up the ass by his all-controlling studio. Not even Weaver gives a satisfying performance; for once, she doesn't feel at home in this role, probably because she literally feels no reason to be here. They should have stopped at "Aliens". Cameron had made a film that worked as a stand-alone project rather than a rehash of the first film, which this one might as well be, minus the taut suspense and sense of wonder. I don't care about the various extended cuts floating around; this is a bad movie, plain and simple, and I don't think any amount of added footage is going to truly change that. It's a shame that in Hollywood, no one can hear you scream. Because I'm sure Fincher wanted nothing more.

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December 02, 2012
hard to believe that this was directed by Fincher eh?
 
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More Alien 3 reviews
review by . July 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Okay so...run around...scream....cut to that guy and then I dunno.......run somemore.
After seeing Aliens get the snotty acid blown out of them in Aliens, the wait for Alien 3 was unbearable for some and after seeing the movie, the let down was equally unbearable.      Billed as a new action movie with music video director David Fincher at the helm, Alien 3 is one of the biggest messes ever.       Ripley has survived the ordeal on LV-426 and is headed home but alas a stowaway Alien on board her ship has caused it to crash on Fiorina 161, …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Alien 3  is a 1992 science fiction/horror film. As the third installment in the Alien franchise, it is preceded by Ridley Scott's Alien and James Cameron's Aliens and is followed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Alien Resurrection. The film also stands as the feature film directorial debut of David Fincher.

The story has an escape pod from the ship that escaped from LV-426 in Aliens crash-landing in a refinery/prison planet, killing everyone on board except Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Unknown to Ripley, an Alien egg was aboard the ship, and is born in the prison and begins a killing spree. Ripley later discovers there is also an alien growing inside her.

The film earned over $100 million outside of North America.

Third film of the Alien series.
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Details

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Horror, Mystery, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: May 22, 1992
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Walter Hill
Runtime: 114 minutes
Studio: Brandywine Productions
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