Words cannot describe how apathetic I am towards this movie. I wouldn’t say it was bad, I wouldn’t say it was good, and I had been warned so it didn’t think it was that disappointing either. It’s pretty mediocre the whole way through and thankfully will be the last Alien movie I’ll be watching for awhile. For those who really really love the franchise, it might be worthwhile to check out. For casual fans like me, I’d suggest sticking with previous two films because this one just turned out to be more of the same, only darker.
Of course, I originally decided to watch all these for this movie, strangely enough. I knew it wasn’t the best of out of the franchise, but I decided to get through all of Fincher’s filmography and sadly this is first on the list. Though it’s his debut film and also a franchise film, not normally the ideal way to showcase a director’s style, you can see some of Fincher’s here.
Fincher is the master of the depressing color schemes, and while the franchise as a whole has done a pretty good job with this, Fincher ups it a bit in this film. Everything is this really depressing shade of brown that does not bode well for anyone’s well being. He also does some interesting things with the chase scenes, like shooting them upside down, turning them, and distorting the hallways. At first I was impressed, but then it started to seem overused and unnecessary. Nevertheless, it did look really cool. However, some cool camera tricks and the color brown don’t really do much to improve the story. The suspense and foreboding that I admired in Zodiac and Se7en were not really present here, as far as I could tell.
So once again, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) wakes up after being cyrogenically frozen. This time she’s landed on a prison planet, and it turns out an alien was on board the ship after all. Once again, Ripley turns out to be the sole survivor. Clearly they couldn’t have gotten Newt back because of the time elapse between the films, but regardless this bothered me. Why is Ripley always exempt? I get that she’s the hero of the story and everything, but these aliens are supposed to be unstoppable and when this movie started up with her surviving them again while everyone else dies, I started to question this a bit. The answer the film provided me with didn’t seem adequate either.
She’s on this prison planet, and everyone there is a threat it seems like. The only kind face is the doctor, Clemens (Charles Dance). I have to admit, I kind of liked this guy. He had a cool accent. I should have realized what was going to happen to him, but once the inevitable happened I was even less invested in this film than I was previously. For the first half of the film, Ripley tries to make sure that there are no aliens on board the ship she came in, and also that they don’t make it out onto the planet in any way. She also has to avoid all the prisoners, who are of course all rapists and murderers. None of them know how many times she’s faced aliens worse than them though.
This is an Alien film, so it would be kind of pointless if they made it without the alien. The second half of the film is basically everyone fighting aliens once again. We also go through the whole song and dance of no one believing Ripley about the aliens, what’s the best way to kill them etc. Eventually Ripley discovers she is “pregnant” with an alien, which from her point of view is basically the worst thing that could happen. Either because of this, or because her life has been controlled by these aliens for so long, the film tries to make us believe that Ripley and aliens have some sort of special bond or something. It makes sense that the aliens wouldn’t kill her because she’s carrying one of them, but it doesn’t make sense to me that she would develop this mutual understanding with the aliens. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling it. If you do, fine, but I was so far past caring about this film that I was a little frustrated that this was the only new thing the film had to offer besides Ripley having to team up with criminals.
I wouldn’t really fault anyone if they enjoyed this film, on its own terms I’m sure it’s fine. I didn’t go into it that excited; I had a job to do: check off another Fincher film and finish the part of the franchise I vowed to watch. I probably was set to not appreciate this film from the beginning. If a film’s good enough though, it can bring you out of this type of thing. Alien 3 was definitely not that. If your a fan of attacking aliens and chases and such, with a bit of a darker feel because it’s set in prison, you may very well enjoy this film. I just couldn’t get into it though, and now I’m just glad it’s over.
“You’ve been in my life so long, I can’t remember anything else.”
Not really my favorite quote, I just picked one I remembered.
Long story short: 1.5/4 stars