This much-hated sequel isn’t
half bad once you get over the fact that the film starts off by wiping out
everybody we cared about in "Aliens".
Kind of makes ALIENS seem like a big waste of time if you ask me,
but I have to let that shit go, don’t I? Ok, I won't let it go, I have
to vent out at least once: WHY DID YOU HAVE TO KILL NEWT AND THEN RUB IT
IN BY AUTOPSYING HER??? WHY DID YOU HAVE TO KILL THE HYPER-KOOL HICKS! I
LOVED BOTH OF THEM! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU, ALL!!!! Okay, now that I got that
out of my system...I can continue.
If you look at the Alien movies
as a trilogy (forget "Alien: Resurrection" for a moment), the
direction this third entry takes kind of makes sense. I mean Ripley
started off as a naďve officer in "Alien",
then she went to face her fears in ALIENS and in ALIEN 3 she finally comes
to terms with her fate. Ripley hasn’t had a very good life since that
slimy creature entered her existence. Everybody she ever cared about dies.
And I mean everybody! In this third sequel, we feel like they're going for
that certain sense of closure, that Ripley knows this “demon” will
always follow her until her final days and that in order for the nightmare
to end; she must end. Yes, it's fucking depressing.
The problems that I have with
"Alien 3" are mostly on a script level (although I hear the film
was severely edited, so keep that in mind). First off, the character
development is quite weak. For the exception of Clemens (Dance) and Dillon
(Dutton), I didn’t give a rat’s ass about any of the secondary
characters. What made the two previous entries gripping is that the
creature(s) went after people that we cared about, and even with limited
screen times, they all had strong individual presences. Here all I could
say was: there goes another bald head! Oh well…next!
Furthermore, the film is so
persistent in not giving its lead a break that it sacrifices the most
interesting and developed character of the movie (not counting Ripley)
very early on. Yes, I’m talking about Clemens (Dance). I loved the guy
and having him exit so fast was
quite a disservice to the movie. His relationship with Ripley and his
persona brought lots of “humanity” to the film. To make matters worse,
his death is very bland. He deserved better. Actually most of the kill scenes in this movie are pretty "blah".
Since we couldn’t care less about the secondary characters who croak,
that affects the suspense factor. Compared to the two previous flicks, the
tension here is quite low. So you would think that they might compensate
for that fact by slapping in some more gore but everything happens so
quickly in this film, that you ultimately don't see very much. It all
makes for very un-involving killings.
The film has a few plot holes
that bothered me as well. First off, how can a few drops of acid blood
cause a whole ship to malfunction? What kind of crappy ship is this?
Also when did the Alien queen lay an egg in the Sulaco at the end
of Part 2? Where did she find the time? Sneaky bitch isn’t she. Last but
not least: doesn’t a facehugger die after one impregnation? If so, how
did he manage to lay his seed twice? Us sci-fi/horror geeks don’t let
that shit go that easily, Mr. Screenwriter. Don’t undermine our
The effects here are also quite
weak compared to the ones in the previous two entries. I didn’t mind the
twist of the alien adopting some characteristics off his host (in this
case a Rotweiller) but I did mind the cheesy effect they used to execute
it. The close-ups of the creature are fine (mostly because it’s a guy in
a suit) but when we get wide shots of it running on all fours it looks
pretty fake (because it’s a visual effect). Another effect pet peeve,
it's fairly small but I have to mention it: the outside shots with the
debris flying in the wind…the debris is way too phony looking…why
The ace this movie is holding in
its deck is the Ripley character. This flick is all about her. Since the
secondary characters are mostly thin (Dillon kept me interested though)
and that Clemens disappears early on, all of our love, attention and 99%
of our interest is directed at her. And having warmed up with the two
previous ALIEN flicks, Weaver gives a captivating turn here and alongside
the directing and the depressive aura, is the big reason why this flick
Now I’m going to get
existential on this one and say that "Alien 3" is a lot like
real life. It doesn’t go the way that you would hope and it’s not
perfect. But you can’t deny its honesty and "balls on"
approach. I appreciated its themes of religion, redemption, death and
sacrifice. I loved Fincher’s beautiful direction (the scene where they
incinerate the bodies inter-cut with the birth of the alien is awesome), I
dug the main hallway chase scene with the alien POV and I cried like a
beeyatch on PMS when the poignant conclusion came to. Where the first
movie was about slow building suspense, the second about relentless
action, this third entry is mostly about drama, mood, sadness and closure.
"Alien 3" is not a fun movie but in my humble opinion, it’s a
fitting ending to the series. Not perfect! Not happy! Fitting. Can someone
facehug me…I’m sad…