Director: David Fincher
Written by: David Giler, Walter Hill, Larry Ferguson
Weapon of Choice: Super heated metal
Based upon: Original
Other movies in this series:
Rish Outfield's reviews
The best sequels are those that take the characters or situations from their predecessors and move them in a new direction that both pleases fans and attract new ones, while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original. Not an easy trick, and the better the original, the more daunting the task ahead of the filmmakers. Under these criteria, Alien&xup3 succeeds on all counts, except perhaps the last one. In many ways, the third "Alien" film is as bad as the world's worst sequel, Highlander 2, and for pretty much the same reason (it destroys the ending of the last film, and all it stood for).
When it was released in 1992, I (a tremendous fan) refused to see Alien³. It was one of the few times I put my foot down on something for ethical reasons and didn't wuss out. It wasn't until November of 1997, the day before Alien 4 came out, that I caved and saw it, tyranist by my side. And it wasn't so bad. Yes, as I knew it would, it completely betrayed the purpose of Aliens, and gave a high middle finger to all fans of the second film, but it was also a really well-made, thoughtful, and scary film. It took the characters and situations of its predecessor in a new direction. It was expertly directed by then-newcomer David "Pessimism" Fincher, and was as claustrophobic and unpleasant as the original. It is a good movie.
Recently, it came on the F/X Network, and I made it through about ten minutes before I turned it off. It may be a good movie, as I've admitted, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
The tyranist's thoughts
Anyone remember how widely panned this one was when it came out? I do and for some reason I've gotten it in my head that I'm the only one that likes this movie. Admittedly, it isn't as great as the first two, but it is still a very entertaining movie that even manages to be a little scary sometimes.
So Ripley is still alive and now the only human or non-human to have survived two encounters with the aliens. Can she survive a third? The setting for this one is probably what I love. A prison colony at the "ass end of space" with a bunch of homicidal maniacs who've found God. I love it. The alien is of course a little different yet again. Faster and seemingly more lethal. It does much less playing with its prey this time and more killing. I wonder what this movie would have been like if the teaser trailer had come true and the aliens made it to earth?
Sigourney Weaver is great in this one. She displays a toughness and willingness to do anything and everything that she didn't have in the first two. It makes for a great character progression. Charles Dance and Charles Dutton both turned in great performances as the doctor and spiritual leader/"murderer and rapist of women" respectively. For you true sci-fi fans you can even see the future 8th Doctor, Paul McGann, in a much, much different role.
I don't care what anyone else thinks, I love this movie. It has all the fun, action, and scares that anyone could reasonably ask for and is only hurt by the fact that it follows two masterpiece movies. Perhaps that is why some don't find it frightening. We've seen the aliens so when they pop out this time, there really isn't that much new. Instead, I recommend viewing this as part of a continuing story instead of a separate movie. You'll like it more then.
Total Skulls: 16
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood hits camera|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|