THE ALIEN ACID-FUELED REVIEW: “Alien 3” stars Sigourney Weaver (Red Lights, Exodus: Gods and Kings), Charles S. Dutton (Gothika, Roc), Charles Dance (The Imitation Game, Last Action Hero), Paul McGann (Withnail & I, Queen of the Damned), Brian Glover (An American Werewolf in London, Kes), Ralph Brown (Wayne’s World 2, Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menace), Danny Webb (Valkyrie, Locke), Christopher John Fields (Fight Club, Jurassic Park), and Holt McCallany (Gangster Squad, Three Kings). It is directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) and written by Vincent Ward (River Queen, Map of the Human Heart), David Giler (The Parallax View, The Black Bird), Walter Hill (Wild Bill, The Getaway), and Larry Ferguson (The Hunt for Red October, Highlander). After escaping the alien-infested planet alive, Ripley (Weaver) and her crew float in space only to crash on a planet inhabited by all-male prisoners. There, Ripley awaits to be picked up, only to have to fight once she realizes an alien egg was planted on her ship.
And this is the part where this franchise starts slipping. Out of all the “Alien” films, only the first two movies are given great scores. The others? Well…not so much. When it comes to film franchises, this is typically normal. There will be a point where the movies aren’t good anymore, and we see signs of this in “Alien 3.” Before I begin, I wanted to state that I did not shut this flick down before I saw it. Although it got bad reviews and ratings, I still had some hope that it could be good in my eyes. Was it? Not really. This film had many issues with it, from ruining the ending to “Aliens” to several nitpicks. My main problem with this movie was the fact that it took everything from “Aliens” and threw it away, just so we could have another sequel. I’m not one to always want a happy ending, but how they did it essentially didn’t make sense. When you see the trailer and read a synopsis for this movie, you see that Ripley’s ship from the previous film, “Aliens,” was taken over by an alien, prompting them to crash on a planet in hyper sleep, with only Ripley surviving the impact. Why did this not make sense? Because the egg was in the ship, and the alien that attacked Ripley at the end of “Aliens” never laid a single one, let alone go inside the ship. It hung on the outside. So, the whole purpose of this flick even being in existence was because of a goof. Once Ripley makes it to the planet, we see that it is run by all-male inmates, serving time for rape, murder, and anything in between. I liked the idea of this planet, for it was different to me, but how it was used wasn’t in the film’s best interest. That is because I didn’t care for the inmates at all. Not a single one of them. Besides Ripley, everyone wasn’t developed to the point where I could connect with them. They were basically there to provide conflict and a meal for the alien that arrived to the planet with Ripley. Even Ripley herself wasn’t developed as much as I wanted her to. Sure, I stated that she was worked on, but it wasn’t nearly as good as in “Aliens.” She did things that I wouldn’t understand in this, like sleeping with one of the inmates. An inmate who the writers tried to make a love interest, but failed miserably because I saw no chemistry between the two. As time moves on in this story, I become less and less invested. The first two films took on this franchise in different styles: one being horror, the other being a suspenseful war movie. This release was neither of those, but rather a mixture of cheap dialogue and occasional mass killings of humans. This is what I didn’t want these movies to rely on. Hollow plots which try to reel us in with a creature attacking people is not my cup of tea. There were points where this movie was not even enjoyable. With no substance to pick apart, all I’m left with is to see the alien, which barely appears in this one until the very ending. Speaking of the alien, this film had some horrible special effects. They took the big leap to CGI, and it shows its wear. Full body shots were cringeworthy, with only the close-ups offering something cool (I think they used the old style for close-ups). With a simplistic plot and an at times terrible-looking alien, I was able to sit through this and not get scared, nor be put on the edge of my seat. Out of all the things an “Alien” movie is made up of, suspense should be the key element. I want to be afraid of this thing, as it connects me to my characters and I can root for them. I wasn’t scared of this alien at all, but I was rather tired of it. It looked gross, it barely showed up, and it killed its victims instead of cocooning them (which makes sense since there isn’t a queen alien to lay eggs, but it shouldn’t seek after humans when you realize where the queen alien is). This film was a monumental step down from its predecessors, but I will admit to liking a few things. I thought the directing and color tones were pretty good. They offered a new style to this release, and there were some cool shots to look at. I also thought that some parts of this story were actually good, especially the ending. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that it will make no sense to continue this franchise at this point. The ending of this hammered the last nail into this franchise’s coffin, and I could only see bad things coming out of the final “Alien” release. Overall, this movie was a disappointment. It had hollow storytelling, loosely developed characters, and a threat that I didn’t fear, but wanted to kill its victims so the film could end. FINAL SCORE: 57%= Burnt Popcorn
This movie has been inducted into The Burnt Hall of Shame.
Here is the trailer: