Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A dying franchise.
This film was selected from ‘The 250’
When people think about the Alien franchise, they will without a doubt think about the first two films because they are widely accepted as iconic and beyond legendary films that excelled in so many filmmaking endeavors. You simply did not want to miss them. They were obviously famous enough to create two more sequels that are more or less forgotten…if not despised all together. I’ve seen the whole franchise a couple years ago, and I sort of remember why they are regarded with such scrutiny, but rewatching has given me more clarity. Directed by David Fincher, Alien³ is the last film the franchise that you can actually follow (from what I remember), but the question is if that’s enough? In short, not really.
The last time we left off Ellen Ripley, she was once again saving the day on the planet of the aliens. It was full of action and violence, and just a whole lot of fun. As I’ve said before, Aliens is your go-to Alien movie because it had it all. There was no need for a third film, but here we are. Our third film actually brings Ripley once again crashing somewhere after a prolonged session of hypersleep. This time, it is on a prison planet where yes, an alien takes over and terrorizes people. This time, it’s an alien bred out of an animal, so it moves differently, but it’s still your typical alien. It’s up to Ripley to save these people once again…but that may prove difficult when she’s been having a few stomach issues.
I want to first off say that I don’t hate this movie. I don’t. I think it was completely unnecessary, but had some good ideas. Primarily, keeping the linkage between The Company and Ripley. The Company is very important in the series, as it is a reflection of sometimes the ethics of our own scientists. That is more closely looked at in the fourth movie, but it’s given more of a tease here. Also, the second film had a lot of connections to the first to the point where it could almost feel like the same movie in terms of creativity. This one actually advanced the story, and made Ripley a little more vulnerable in a very interesting way, and I honestly think that was a good move. I also like the setting…but I dislike it at the same time.
The idea of the setting is really cool – you have a planet full of prisoners? That’s brilliant, given our growing annual population of prisoners. From a sci-fi standpoint, that’s a beyond-cool concept…it just doesn’t work for the franchise. In the end, you have a bunch of bad guys. We’re talking besides the alien, you have hundreds – maybe thousands of murderers, rapists, and whatever. Do we really want to see Ripley save them, I mean really? Shouldn’t this really be a fun show of the alien killing each and every one of them while Ripley watches from a spaceship she just fixed, leaving everything destructive below? That seems more satisfying than what we got, because in the end, you just don’t care about any of the characters.
Also, like any sequel, they wanted to up the ante. They did it in this franchise by pretty much changing the type of alien. In the second movie, you had the queen alien, right? Huge flippin’ thing. Massive. I mean, that was a force to be reckoned with. Ripley had to use a robotic suit to fight it to its death. The third film featured an animalistic alien that moved really quickly. Slightly different than the first alien, but not much. Plus, I guess they wanted to make the alien CGI half the time, and the graphics looked so ridiculously bad that when the CGI alien was on screen, he was like…tinted green while nothing else was. It just looked really horrible. As far as acting goes, it was cool to see Sigourney Weaver again. I mean, she did her best here, which is more than I would have asked of her, but the rest of the cast is forgettable and unlikable.
While Alien³ was completely pointless and unasked for, it still had some good ideas that were at least presented in a way that you can understand and follow.
How do I put this? It was boring and yes, unnecessary. You can follow the story just fine, but if anyone started the series at this point, they definitely wouldn’t care to see any of the other movies and that right there is a crime.
Ripley: You’ve been in my life so long, I can’t remember anything else.