After escaping with Newt and Hicks from the alien planet, Ripley crash lands on Fiorina 161, a prison planet and host to a correctional facility. Unfortunately, although Newt and Hicks do not survive the crash, a more unwelcome visitor does. The prison does not allow weapons of any kind, and with aid being a long time away, the prisoners must simply survive in any way they can.
|Release Date||:||May 22, 1992|
|Genres||:||Science Fiction, Action, Horror|
|Production Co.||:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Brandywine Productions|
|Production Countries||:||United Kingdom, United States of America|
|Director||:||David Fincher, June Randall|
|Writers||:||David Giler, Walter Hill, Larry Ferguson|
|Casts||:||Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Pete Postlethwaite, Ralph Brown, Paul McGann, Danny Webb, Lance Henriksen, Brian Glover, Tom Woodruff Jr., Deobia Oparei, Niall Buggy, Christopher John Fields, Peter Guinness, Vincenzo Nicoli, Christopher Fairbank, Phil Davis, Paul Brennen, Clive Mantle, Carl Chase, Hi Ching, Leon Herbert, Danielle Edmond, Holt McCallany, Tom Woodruff Jr.|
|Plot Keywords||:||prison, android, spacecraft, space marine, imprisonment, space colony, space travel, rottweiler, dystopia, sequel, alien, redemption, outer space, planet, shaved head, crash landing, impregnation, penal colony, furnace, suspended animation, xenomorph|
- An abomination of near-epic proportionsby 11 April 2007on
957 out of 1127 people found the following review useful:
One would love to have heard the story planning sessions for this abysmal third film that pretty much put the final nail in the series coffin before a lackluster attempt to revive it with another ill-fated fourth film. Ridley Scott's original was a simple And Then There Were None haunted house feature set in outer space, but filled with jaw-dropping class and style that made it stand out from the pack of a number of worthless imitators. James Cameron's sequel was a virtual text book on how a sequel should be made in that it upped the ante both action-wise and emotionally by expanding the Sigourney Weaver character, getting the audience firmly on her side and giving her a compelling relationship with a daughter figure. If the first film was an homage to a haunted house film, then the sequel is a rip-roaring homage to war films.
By contrast, it is difficult to figure what the goal of David Fincher's atrocious sequel is aiming for. It does not up the ante action-wise nor does it expand the characters from the prior films. In fact, Fincher's audience-hating mess offs two of the major characters from the prior film in the opening moments and sidelines another - apparently because of lack of imagination. We then discover relatively early in the proceedings that the leading lady is living on borrowed time, which all but eliminates any rooting interest in the film. While creatively Fincher has license to eliminate audience favorites from the prior films, he cannot jettison them with so little respect and then not replace them with characters at least as interesting without it seeming like a slap in the face, but that is exactly what he does. The denizens of the prison asteroid where the doomed heroine and her ill-fated crew crash in the opening moments is populated by an interchangeable melange of nobodies who blur together.
The storyline, such as it is, conspires a dubious and illogical scenario of how an alien could have accompanied our heroine and then propagated itself on the asteroid. Rather than an army of aliens (a la Cameron), Fincher ratchets it back so far that we instead get one modest-sized alien that is far less intriguing or frightening than the one found in Ridley Scott's original. Action-wise we get badly directed, murky-looking scenes of frantic bald men running down hallways. The alien moves at the speed of sound (almost like a Benny Hill sped-up sketch) so that it would be impossible to elude it, yet a number of characters illogically seem able to outrun it.
Fincher makes it clear from the start that he is far less interested in action or character development, but merely wishes to hang his own bizarre stabs at style onto an unwieldy framework - and stylistically he is no Ridley Scott or even a James Cameron. Why Weaver, who no doubt could have negotiated for a better story, would have returned and participated in this pap is indefensible. Even worse, why 20th Century Fox did not just end a promising sci-fi saga on a brilliant note and instead chose to have it interred and vivisected by hacks is equally unknowable. As it is, we have the perfect example of Class 101 on how NOT to make a sequel in a successful franchise.
- One of the most disappointing sequels of all timeby 23 April 2000on
733 out of 845 people found the following review useful:
The only film I can think of that I knew I hated before the opening credits even finished. Aliens was by far my favorite of all the movies in this series and before the opening credits are even done, they kill off all the characters which survived from #2--making Ripley's heroic rescue of Newt totally pointless. One of the things I liked about Aliens is that they didn't pull the typical horror movie plot about killing everyone but the main character and then they totally ruin it in this one. If they couldn't get the other actors, okay, but don't kill them off for crying out loud.
Other things I hated about this movie: no likeable or memorable characters (strictly monster fodder here), lousy dialog, boring backdrop, a putrid plot with gaping holes and even Ripley is so depressing and lame you are actually glad when she dies. This is one time you would have loved for them to end with the entire movie just being a bad dream Ripley had while sleeping in the cryogenic chamber. Then we could have dumped her and made a movie about Hicks and Bishop fighting aliens.
I give this movie a rating of 1. It rates right up there with Highlander 2 in my opinion as one of the worst movie sequels of all time.
- Kill me! Please!by 27 June 2002on
688 out of 784 people found the following review useful:
David Fincher has populated his movie with a metric ton of completely unsympathetic characters. The alien spends most of its time chasing random, interchangeable bald convicts to their doom. (They even *look* the same!) Anyone who begins to show some sort of character development (the doctor and the dastardly warden come to mind) are slain immediately. Only Charles S. Dutton gets any mileage out of his character, and manages to pull off the single act of heroism in the entire film.
As for our returning heroes: Hicks dies off-screen. Newt appears just long enough to undergo a chest-cracking autopsy. Bishop is reactivated long enough to lament that he is no longer "top of the line" and ask to be switched off again. Ripley herself spends half the movie bemoaning her fate ("We're f*cked!") and trying to convince a convicted rapist/murderer to kill her and put her out of her misery. Clearly, these don't even resemble the scrappy, resourceful characters we've come to admire. No one seems particularly interested in overcoming their situation; I have to ask why should we care, either?
What does it all add up to? There is not a single moment of suspense in this entire movie. I really didn't care whether the alien hunted down all those generic convicted felons. I didn't even really care if it hunted down Ripley, since she is clearly set up as doomed from the beginning. This is grim stuff, but not in any interesting way.
- Frustratingly Disappointedby 23 June 2001on
679 out of 775 people found the following review useful:
I can't help thinking how much better this film could have been, had a more talented writer and director been set to work on it, artists who had a better feel for the series. As it is, I just try to believe that this and it's successor are bad dreams Ripley had after Aliens.
The plot holes indicate either a lack of commitment by the creators, or a lack of respect toward the viewers. For example, there is no logical way an egg could've gotten on the Sulaco, which means that the events in the film couldn't have occurred in the first place. Ripley's "great sacrifice" at the end is meaningless, as there is an entire shipfull of eggs ready for collection back on LV-426.
Clemens is introduced as the only truly interesting and sympathetic character in the film besides Ripley, and yet is killed off for nothing other than (existential? Ironic? Both?) shock value; all that building-up of a character, which is then flushed down the toilet for no good reason. The other characters are largely nameless and forgettable (excepting possibly Dillon and "85"), existing only as cannon fodder to remind us of how mean and scary the Alien is.
Many pro-Alien3 fans point out what an alleged departure this film is from the first two, yet the plot is essentially identical to Alien, except with no real suspense and no characters to root/fear for. We've become well-acquainted with the creatures by now, so there aren't any new surprises there. The action scenes themselves are rather flat, and Fincher completely lacks the subtlety Scott employed with his "impressionistic" shots of the Alien in the first film.
Fincher's cinematography is well-done, but it's overly stylistic and distracts the viewer, like he's saying to us, "Look how clever and talented I am!". Weaver gives a good performance, but I just wish she had better material to work with. Alien3 is primarily of interest to film buffs interested in how not to make a successful horror film.
- Absolutely bloody terribleby 21 May 2000on
676 out of 777 people found the following review useful:
This film has to be the worst of the series. Whereas Alien 4 would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic, this is terrible in every way. Alien had only one, super-intelligent, creature. Aliens successfully altered the formula by having an army of gormless critters. This film has one alien, but unfortunately it's just as gormless. I won't give away plot points, but it does some stupid things. The characters are all bald in this film, making it more difficult to tell them apart. This fact, along with the fact that they are all rapists, murderers etc. does little to generate sympathy. The only character who we care about, played by Dance, is dropped from the story almost as soon as he appears. Finally, the overall tone of the film is VERY depressing and draining. Fincher (who should be shot for this film, however good Seven and Fight Club were) has tried to describe this film as upbeat. He must have some major emotional issues as you cannot describe a film in which 95% of the cast dies as upbeat.
**********PLOT SPOILERS BELOW!!!!****************
I can only think that this film was Fincher's deliberate attempt to murder a fantastic franchise. He kills Ripley, for a start, and in killing Hicks he destroys the possible replacement. I can see how the death of Hicks could have worked- going down in the blaze of glory against the aliens- but the helpless and ultimately pathetic death he suffers before the film even starts is wholly unacceptable. Killing Newt is just cruel.
I don't know what else to say about this travesty of a film. It has destroyed one of my favourite series of films. No wonder Alien 4 was so bad when it had to follow this crap.
I would give it 0/10 if I could, but I can't, so 1 it is.
- Abominable - a shame to the seriesby 24 January 2004on
682 out of 825 people found the following review useful:
This one is really horrible. It messes up everything that made Alien and Aliens great movies. The transition from the end of Aliens to the beginning of this crap makes no sense at all. The survivors of Aliens are simply killing off, probably for no better reason than that the script simply doesn't fit into the Alien series at all. A military ship jettisoning its crew after a tiny fire (don't they build warships to stand a little damage anymore?). An "escape pod" crashes headlong into a planet with not even an attempt at steering or breaking (wasn't there something called "landing")?. And all of a sudden two Aliens pop up out of nowhere. The nice high-tech environments and cool hardware are exchanged for a prison that more reminds of sewers than anything else. And from there it's just a boring matter of watching the Alien doggy eat all of those feeble, uninteresting characters (good that suddenly humans can outrun the doggy). I have seen this one once and being a fan of Aliens, I regret it. If you liked Alien and Aliens, do yourself a favor and stay away!
- Pales in comparisonby 31 May 2001on
702 out of 866 people found the following review useful:
" This is rumor control, and these are the facts.." Alien 3 pales in comparison to the previous two films. It seems David Fincher wanted to combine the elements of the first two films to create a dark, foreboding action movie.Something just didn't work. For one thing there isn't anyone in the film to truly like, after all, everyone is a double y chromo and prone to things like murder and rape. Not exactly the cast you get all teary-eyed over when they meet the alien. Only Riply (Sigourney Weaver) remains from the other films, and she is acting a tad strange in this one too. For example: Ripley is asked to remain in sick-bay because the men have not even seen a woman in years. Remember too, that these are men that are all lifers, having no qualms about committing horrid acts. So what does Riply do? She goes to the mess hall to have lunch with them. Ripley was a very smart woman in the other two films, what happened? Too long in cryogenic sleep? At one point Riply tells the inmates "I've never seen one(the alien) move Quite like this one does." I guess she hasn't seen too many poor cgi effects before. This is the weakest of the alien series. That is, of course, until they made Alien Resurrection.
- The worst of the series, and one of my least favorite sequels. Truly disastrous. No wonder Fincher and everyone associated with it has disowned it since its release...by 15 January 2004on
654 out of 789 people found the following review useful:
In its complexity, "Alien3" is a failed story. It's bleak, it's flawed, it's stupid. "Alien3" is a sequel to two of the most memorable films of all time--and it completely ruins the ending of its 1986 predecessor, "Aliens," by killing off two of the lasting characters and entirely negating the emotional underpinning of the film. It practically scratches out the second movie with its mediocrity, and the fourth scratches out the first.
In its simplicity, it sucks.
If you recall the ending of the last film, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) survived her encounters with an alien colony, along with the marine, Hicks (Michael Biehn), and a young survivalist much like herself named Newt (Carrie Henn). They were put into cryogenic sleep and all was well. The story ended happily and should have stayed that way. It was the ending we all loved.
Now it's ruined. Ripley is picked up by a large space ship another number of years later. She is the only survivor. The spaceship suffered a malfunction. Hicks bled to death and Newt drowned in her cryo chamber. But Ripley believes that Newt may have been impregnated with a chestburster after finding traces of acid on the floor of the ship.
That's a problem with this film. Everything's contrived. I was willing to believe that Ellen Ripley could and would encounter aliens once again in the film "Aliens" because the plot was strong, so any minor contrivances set up by James Cameron were not very noticeable. It was a very good sci-fi film, and the more I view it on the new Quadrilogy DVD, the more I grow to like it.
Same with "Alien3." The new cut is better than the old one. But it's still an awful film--so bad that everyone associated with it has only bad things to say about it. Even its director, David Fincher, has reportedly disowned the film. He claims that the film is not his, that FOX controlled every aspect of it. He was the only director on the entire Quadrilogy DVD collection to refuse a DVD commentary track recording.
"Alien3," even with the superior extended version, still stinks to high heaven. Fincher can disown the film all he wants, but he still made it. The "Alien" series was always dark and brooding and somewhat disturbing, but this pushes the limit--it's too dark, too brooding, too disturbing. The characters are extremely strange and weird; Ellen Ripley is very different, and her new hairstyle--no hair--is just silly. This whole film is just too dark.
Another problem? There's nowhere to go after "Aliens." In 1979, "Alien" introduced the new face of horror a year after John Carpenter's "Halloween." The two back-to-back slasher flicks were both very different and yet very similar. One took place in the future, one in the present. Both were films about killing creatures (for Michael Myers is not a human). And so to change the genre, in 1986 James Cameron made the sequel an all-out combat film, preparing audiences for the change with the tagline, "This time it's war." He wanted people to know that it wasn't "Alien." It was "Aliens."
"Alien3" is infamous for its awfulness. It is the movie no one wants to claim credit for. Not Fincher, not Hill, not the producers, and not even FOX, really. It made a lot of cash, but for the most part everyone hated it. Some die-hard fans enjoy it, but if you ask them, they'll always tell you that it's the worst of the series (sometimes they choose "Alien Resurrection," though).
I'll tell you what: It's certainly my least favorite. I hate this movie. I literally find it painful to watch. And I wouldn't even call myself a huge fan of this series. But it bugs me when directors take liberties to kill off characters. The story of James Cameron's hatred for "Alien3" is pretty well known. Some people say he needs to get over it. Now he's talking about making a sequel with Ridley and forgetting about the latter two sequels. I don't think this is a good idea (forgetting the other two--it would confuse audiences), but I don't blame him for despising "Alien3" and often referencing it as an awful film in his interviews.
Alien: 5/5 Aliens: 5/5 Alien3: 1.5/5 Alien Resurrection: 2.5/5
- gag me with a spoonby 20 December 2002on
716 out of 928 people found the following review useful:
During this movie I found watching the inside of my eyelids much more appealing. Something was just plain wrong about the whole movie. The biggest problem was that I didn't care about any of the characters but Ripley. This film was made in between the use of actual puppets and good computer animation (which is still obvious). That means that many times the Alien looked very fake. I thought the monster was more realistic in the original Alien.
Nothing was suspenseful of scary about this movie. The Alien point of view ruins the mystery and suspense of the Alien. I don't want to see what the Alien is seeing, what's the fun in that? I don't want to know where its going, I just want to be surprised.
Also, Ripley crashing on a planet of double Y chromosome rapists was immediately lame. Also, the doctor's little sob story made me wanna stop the movie right there. This movie had all the elements of a cheezy blockbuster, an embarrassment to the series. Because of this film, I'll probably never rent Alien: Resurrection. I can't even imagine the far-fetched, pathetic way Ripley comes back. I heard that Jeunet directed that film without knowing how to speak English to the cast. As the Godfather and Star Wars series' pointed out, three's a crowd. This is not an exception. 6/10
- The third act in the Alien series brings nothing new to it.by 15 February 2007on
517 out of 550 people found the following review useful:
Alien^3 is a textbook example of how too much studio control can destroy a potentially decent film. After the massive success of Aliens, the studio wanted yet another film to bring in more profit. That makes perfect sense to me. If you have a good thing going then why not milk it? But here's the problem: Aliens ended with very little wiggle room in which to make another film. For all intents and purposes, it was the end of the story. As Alien^3 went through various drafts, the numerous writers attempted to bring new things into the story regarding the aliens. For example, William Gibson's screenplay had the idea of the aliens having an alternate means of reproduction via spores. A very neat idea, mind you, and the descriptions of the transformations in the script would've made for very horrific imagery on film.
Unfortunately, Alien^3 decided to throw any good ideas out the window and magically place an alien egg aboard our heroes' ship, despite the fact that in the previous film we are shown that the Queen has left her eggs at the hive.
And I'm just getting warmed up.
Another common gripe about Alien^3 is the death of the characters Newt and Hicks. Many fans of the film felt that it was necessary and that it helped eliminate the "happy ending" of Aliens. I personally don't think it was a bad idea to kill off the characters, except that it was executed poorly on screen. Their deaths carried no meaning other than to forcefully make Ripley a fish out of water again. Not only that, but Newt and Hicks (who were engaging characters) are replaced by uninteresting stock characters who serve no other purpose than to be cannon fodder. Now the previous two films had their share of cannon fodder, but they at least left you wondering who exactly was going to die. Example: few suspected that Ripley would be the sole survivor of Alien.
Lastly, people complain that Alien^3 was nothing more than a retread of the original film. That's very true. Except that, unlike Alien, this film didn't work. Instead we are treated to a rather formulaic slasher-like storyline. The ending is one of the few parts that truly work and it serves as an excellent bookend to the series.
Director David Fincher, who was unfortunately reduced to the level of studio puppet, does manage to save the film with his talent in creating a moody atmosphere. One can only wonder how much better this film might have been had he been given a greater amount of control.
Alien^3 could best be described as "the great sequel that never was". Given a more interesting script and more control on the director's part, this film could've been at least as good as it's predecessors. Fortunately, Fox took a step in the right direction with Alien Resurrection by having entertaining characters and a more original story.
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