The bitch is back
Running Time: 114 minutes
UK Certificate: 18
Country: United States
Those aliens just wont take a hint, will they? Six years previously, Sigourney Weavers increasingly mannish Ellen Ripley banished another of the monstrous space-swines into the cosmos, before once again heading off for a bit of a kip.
So the fact that she now finds herself slap-bang in the middle of a third chapter is a sure-fire sign that something survived. Only, if youve watched Aliens, youll be pretty sure that nothing did. And there, with the convenient appearance of at least one new face-hugger aboard Ripleys craft, lies the first major problem with Alien3.
Problem 2 is the lazy script-writing which for some reason deems the relationships Ripley formed with Newt and Hicks (Carrie Henn and Michael Biehn) in the last movie surplus to requirements. Within minutes of this movies opening, those two have been killed off – its a real blow for fans of that second film, and one this movie struggles to recover from.
Ripleys craft has crash-landed on an all-male maximum security prison planet, governed by a highly disagreeable Brian Glover and populated by a charming mix of murderers, rapists and probably – politicians. Surprise surprise, these nasty-pieces-of-work soon find themselves being picked off one-at-a-time by the very beast introduced onto the planet by our heroines ship. Oops.
David Fincher making his big screen directorial debut handles the picture with impressive style, but the deeply detestable subject matter renders much of his good work pointless. When the alien gives chase its as scary as it ever was previously in the series, but the major difference this time is that youll struggle to feel any empathy for its prey.
If Ripley was a survivor in Alien and a fighter in Aliens, in Alien3 shes a cold-hearted quitter, operating entirely without even the smallest smattering of hope. Its understandable given what the characters been through, but hardly makes for good cinema. When even she herself openly wants to die, why should we as an audience care if she doesnt?
It's Got: Ripley shaving her noggin. Apparently the only thing worse than the aliens are the head lice.
It Needs: Characters we can care about and a plot that works.
DVD Extras Original theatrical trailer and a Making of doc. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10
Marvellously directed and well-acted, but a dirty and wholly unrewarding experience, containing major plot-holes thanks to a complete disregard of what went on in the previous movie.