Sunday, October 26, 2014

Alien 3

Alien 3; science-fiction horror, USA, 1992; D: David Fincher, S: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Lance Henriksen

Just when Ripley and her crew managed to scape from the aliens, one of those creatures causes a malfunction on board and crashes their spaceship on a planet penal colony. Only Ripley survives, and finds out the planet is inhabited only by men, mostly criminals serving their sentence. However, one alien managed to survive still, and starts killing the inmates one by one in the dark base. With the help of Clemens, they manage to kill the alien by luring him in the steel mill of some sorts. When Ripley finds out she has one alien embryo inside her and that the military wants to use it as a biological weapon, she commits suicide by jumping into the steel mill as well.

Out of all the films in the original "Alien" quadrilogy, "Alien 3" offers the least: it is a clear testimony that perfect cinematography, editing, set design and high production values cannot brink a movie when its essence - the story - is simply no good. Many critics correctly pointed out that the concept of having every character shave their head was pointless and counterproductive, since we have here dozens upon dozens of bald characters who are all hard to distinguish; the setting on some sort of a gulag-planet was stupid and without any point whereas Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley turned out disappointingly pale compared to the previous film, Cameron's "Aliens", where she had a strong feminist charisma. Not only that, but it is unclear why the screenwriters simply took Cameron's previous story and then had to trash it by killing off all the surviving characters from the 2nd film, including the 12-year old girl Newt, who could have been used in the storyline. Finally, not much is going on in the story, anyway, and the endless monotone dialogues contribute to nothing, at least until the finale. David Fincher hereby delivers his feature length debut film, but rarely rises to the occasion or offers sophisticated build up of suspense from his future films, with the couple of exceptions - for instance, the scene where the doctor gives Ripley a needle while the alien shows up behind the curtain, is effective, whereas the finale, where the inmates are trying to lure the alien through the long corridors, has moments of delicious chills since it shows alien's POV through a fish eye lens while he is running at high speed on the ceiling, chasing them. Fincher would go on to direct the excellent thriller "Seven" three years later, while the "Alien" franchise was given one last shot of freshness in "Alien Resurrection" when the talented Jeunet-Caro team twisted it further still by giving it the unexpected - humor.


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