June 7, 2014
Movie Night: Alien 3.
Review #586: Alien 3.
Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Ripley), Charles S. Dutton (Dillon), Charles Dance (Jonathan Clemens), Brian Glover (Harold Andrews), Ralph Brown (Aaron), Paul McGann (Golic), Danny Webb (Morse), Lance Henriksen (Bishop II), and Tom Woodruff, Jr. (The Alien) Directed by David Fincher.
"No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me."
That quote came from the director himself, David Fincher, director of Alien 3, which is probably the unluckiest installment of the franchise. Where did all the trouble begin? Aliens was a massive success, and naturally the studio wanted a sequel, two in fact, but with Hicks the main focus instead of Ripley. The idea then fizzled out as an array of writers tried to deliver a satisfactory (to the studio) script, to the point where after all the scripts were rejected, the producers had to write the screenplay themselves, meshing parts of some of the other writers scripts (most notably the prison planet idea), and having to complete the script while filming started. Also there was interference by studio executives that meddled with the film, which made Fincher angry to the point where he has actually disowned the film.
So yeah, after all that trouble, how is the film itself? It's a sad mess of a movie, that's for sure. The first problem of the movie? How did the egg get onto the escape ship when there was no sign of any aliens on board? It's a plot hole that is quite literally made in the first minutes. Oh, and the characters you cared about in the last film? All dead. Yes, they are shamelessly killed off, without any sense of care, but on the plus side it sets the tone for an extremely depressing movie. The movie tries to set its own tone, trying to be its own. And it just doesn't help the movie much. The big problem is that all of the characters are disposable, Dutton is the only interesting new character, maybe because he lasts the longest, or because Paul McGann (insert your 8th Doctor reference here) isn't in it enough. It's not that we want the characters to die, we're just waiting for them to, which they do. It's not that I don't like the film because it's not like Aliens, I don't like it because it's just a slog of a movie to get through. Now granted it is hard to make a sequel to a franchise that has had two great movies already, but Alien 3 just doesn't cut it. It tries and fails at being something new. The deaths in the movie are not awful, but they certainly are predictable, and the four legged alien looks more silly then threatening, it's the movements that kill it. The shots with the motion camera as the alien chases the crew is ridiculous in its concept, only making you wonder how this franchise fell so far. Weaver isn't bad in this film, but not even she can save this train wreck. The movie at least knows when to end, and boy does it end spectacularly. There is an Assembly Cut for this movie that has more footage, but more doesn't necessarily mean better. Just stick to the first two, and watch this one if you want to be depressed.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.