Alien 3 (1992)


If this film was a standalone movie in the Alien series instead of a direct sequel to Aliens I would like it a lot more. The third movie does a good job of recapturing the suspense and thrills of the first two movies, even expanding Ripley’s character somewhat as well. Sigourney Weaver is still a massive badass, and is still amazing in her role as the female alien fighter Ellen Ripley. Her and Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor from the Terminator series are two of the best female characters ever written. There is an interesting twist to Ripley in this movie, as she’s surrounded by alpha male prisoners who are in jail mostly for rape and murder. It’s an entertaining dynamic to see Ripley have to interact with these men who’ve not seen a woman for many years while they have been incarcerated.

The film begins with Ripley and the ship she ended up on at the end of Aliens malfunctioning and crash landing on the planet Fiorina 161. It’s a prison planet and all of the inmates are alpha males who are there mostly for the crimes of rape or murder. An alien was also in the ship that crashed and begins stalking the prisoners.  Ripley has to help the prisoners to destroy the alien at least until help can arrive.

My biggest issue with the story is that the alien kills prisoners all the time. In the previous two films, the aliens rarely killed anyone. Any casualties were generally put into cocoons and impregnated with aliens. Humans in the Alien films are usually not killed, but in this film, they always are. It doesn’t make sense why the alien would just start killing its prey when it never has in the previous two films.

I really want to like this film a lot more than I do. I’m very aware that the first two films are classics and it is unfair to compare this movie with them, and like I said, if it was a standalone alien film I’d have enjoyed it more. But it wasn’t standalone. The movie kills Hicks and Newt in the first five minutes. Every part of the preceding movie Aliens was wasted. Ripley risked her life to get Newt away from the Aliens in the last movie and it’s one of the highlights when Ripley goes on the warpath, desperate to save her newly adopted daughter. This film shits on the entire climax of Aliens and it is unforgivable.

I give this movie credit for trying to be different but it ruins the greatest action movie of all time and for that, I can’t love this film like I do the previous two. Even if this third movie in the franchise captures many of the themes of the first two.

Rating: C-

This movie really pisses me off. Almost everything I liked about Alien and Aliens is missing from this movie. There is little tension. You see the alien all the time. There is absolutely no humor. The gore level is needlessly amped up. It’s just not the same at all, and worse for it.

My biggest gripe with Alien 3 is that it renders the entire plot of Aliens moot. The two characters whom Ripley saves in the previous installment are killed within the first five minutes. In fact, the beginning of this movie puts Ripley exactly where she was at the beginning of Aliens. She is once again the sole survivor, thrust into an unfamiliar environment. Again, she is the only one with any knowledge of the alien, and must formulate a plan to contain the threat. It’s the same damn plot, only I didn’t care about the new cast of characters. Oh, except for one, who of course is killed about half way through the movie.

I didn’t find this movie scary at all, just unnecessarily bloody. This is my issue with most “scary” movies now– they’re not actually scary, just gross. This film is relatively tame compared to movies now (hell, it’s tame compared to The Walking Dead), but when compared to the first two movies it’s completely over the top. Plus, one of these scenes involves a dog, so it completely lost me after that.

Rating: D (Sigourney Weaver is still great, but not much else is.)

2 thoughts on “Alien 3 (1992)

  1. Pingback: Alien: Resurrection (1997) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  2. Pingback: Avatar (2009) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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