Directed by David Fincher [Other horror films: Se7en (1995)]
So, while I’d seen the first two movies (Alien and Aliens), I never voyaged past the second one, so I was sort of surprised to find that I enjoyed this a bit more than expected. Oh, it’s not a great movie, nowhere near as good as the first two, but some strong performances and a decent story pull it up.
I find it somewhat funny, though, that the only surviving character from the second movie is Ripley. Just a bit of a suckerpunch, given all she did to try and save others. Still, for the story, being that their ship crash-landed on a prison planet, it worked. The story, though, loses something after they all decide to work together and trap the alien – it was still okay, but it felt so much more average than the first half of the film.
What cannot be denied, on a personal level, is the impact Charles Dance had early on. I pretty much only know Dance from his role on Game of Thrones, and he looked much the same here, but he really brought a lot to the film. One of the few characters I legit liked, it was a shame to see that he doesn’t make it near as far as you’d hope, but I still really liked seeing him regardless.
It’s not as though without Dance, the cast is void of big names and solid performances, but I do think that Dance was definitely one of the best here. Otherwise, we have Charles S. Dutton (Gothika), who does okay with his character, the same of which could be said of Pete Postlethwaite. Both Brian Glover and Ralph Brown did well as ineffectual authority characters, and seeing Lance Henriksen come back (in a limited capacity) was a pleasure also.
The problem here is that, as I mentioned, past a certain point in the story, the events begin feeling much more generic. I do personally quite like the end of this film, but getting there is a bit of an unmemorable journey, which wasn’t necessarily a surprise, but it was disappointing.
Alien³ is an okay movie. It’s a large drop-off from the first two, but I think this straddles the average rating. I think compared to the first two movies, it’s definitely much worse, but as a movie standing alone, Alien³’s okay. It’s nothing special aside from Sigourney Weaver and Charles Dance, but it’s by no means the worst movie of the 1990’s.