David Fincher takes the reigns of the Alien franchise with Alien 3, and amazingly finds work as a director afterwards.
Movie: Alien 3 (1992)
Plot: On her way back to the safe space station she left in Aliens, Lt. Ripley’s ship is compromised, leading to the escape pod containing the lone survivors of the last Xenomorph epidemic to be jettisoned, landing on a prison planet. Unfortunately, the survivors included some face-huggers. Fun times had by all.
Killer: A single Xenomorph, apparently different than the one in the original Alien, by Ripley’s comments.
Critique: When I broke down the sequel Aliens, I was extremely impressed with how well the film continued the story of the original in epic proportions. It wasn’t just a “let’s put Xenomorphs in another environment and see what happens” type of sequel.
Alien 3 tries to do the same thing, but just doesn’t deliver. It has the tools to be a good continuation, but the entire film seemed to drag on without anything special to hang its hat on. It’s as if the script idea was, “We have to kill off Ripley. Now let’s write something to get us to that climactic scene.”
The acting was fine. The environments were on par with everything else the Alien franchise put out. The Xenomorph looked great, except when it was green-screened into a scene with actors. The problem was that we just didn’t care what was happening except for a few key scenes, mention below. It was basically the original Alien with a maroon shading over the camera and none of the suspense.
Scene of Awesomeness: Ridley does a backward swan-dive into a pool of fire as a Xenomorph explodes from her chest. It’s a grand finale to the Alien series… if only it were so.
Scene of Ridiculousness: This time around, I’m going to replace the “ridiculousness” tag for “downright horrifying,” because there is nothing ridiculous, for better or for worse, in Alien 3. That scene with the Rottweiler in massive pain before dying from a chest-burster is probably the most horrifying scene in this film. Maybe it’s just because I love dogs. On the positive side, the dog’s acting was probably the best in the film.
Body Count: 33
1 drowning in a stasis pod
1 impaling in a stasis pod
1 chest-burster (dogs count, dammit!)
1 sliced up by a giant rotating exhaust fan
9 by vague Xenomorph slaughtering
1 synthetic unplugged (Bishop acted human enough to count)
2 head puncturings by Xenomorph
Approximately 15 burned alive
1 by gunfire
1 suicidal dive into an industrial furnace (Awesomely Overkill Award by default)
Actors/Actresses of Note: Besides the prerequisite Sigourney Weaver and a couple of cameos by Lance Henriksen and mangled Lance Henriksen, Charles Sutton from the TV show Roc and Charles Dance, who is best known for being mistaken for Bill Nighy, join the Alien franchise this time around.
Quote: “You’ve been in my life so long, I can’t remember anything else.” – Ripley