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Alien 3

movie review out of 4

*Also starring: Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Danny Webb, Christopher John Fields, Holt McCallany, Lance Henriksen, Pete Postlethwaite

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

Let me first confess that I absolutely loved ALIEN (1979) and ALIENS (1986). In fact, ALIENS is one of my favorite (top 20 or 30) movies of all time. I was extremely disappointed by ALIEN 3. In ALIEN, the shock of the concept as well as the acting carried the picture. In ALIENS the fear of the beast was tempered by the sweetness of the little Newt character. Most of the same writers (Larry Ferguson, David Giler, Walter Hill, and Vincent Ward) are back, but this time with a different director (David Fincher) and mainly a new cast, and they craft a totally different vision. This is a dark and mean spirited show. Both of the first two had gems of hope in them. This one reeks with despair and hopelessness.

As always, Sigourney Weaver is back as the ever resourceful Ripley. Other than Lance Henriksen as Bishop II, I think most of the rest of the cast is new to the ALIEN series. In ALIEN 3 we have Charles Dutton as Dillon, Dance as Clemens, Paul McGann as Golic, Brian Glover as Andrews, Ralph Brown as Aaron, Danny Webb as Morse, Christopher John Fields as Rains, and Holt McCallany as Junior. The cast is acceptable, but none of them are very impressive. The problem in the movie boils to two words, script and direction. Both are pathetic.

What didn't I like about it? Mostly it is boring. It is a one act and one scene play that has a short and mildly interesting prologue. The prologue is maybe 10-15 minutes long. I did not time it because I thought the rest of the movie would have lots of scenes and be much more interesting. In fact the rest of the movie is a lugubrious and unsuspenseful 2 person show, Weaver and the monster.

Remember what wonderful and essential other characters there were in the other movies? Well, there are a few other potentially interesting actors in ALIEN 3, but they are never developed and have almost nothing essential to do other than keep it from being a 2 person play. Remember the suspense, fear, and intensity of ALIEN and ALIENS? Good, hold that memory while watching this show. Memories are good; this show isn't. Better see it while it is still on the big screen. The murky cinematography by Alex Thomson is so dark it may be invisible on the little boob tube at home.

You say, well there must be SOMETHING you liked in it? Well, yes there is a tiny mystery in the way that the monster acts toward Weaver. This mystery is easily solved yet I found the premise kind of cute.

ALIEN 3 runs way too long at 1:55. I wish editor Terry Rawlings had hacked away more of this depressing film. It is correctly rated R for violence and bad language. It would be okay for most teenagers. I give it a thumbs down recommendation and a single *. If you are a real ALIEN series fan, I do not think you will be able to miss seeing it. Even with terrible reviews I had to see this movie. I remain hopeful that ALIEN 4 will be more like the best in the series which was ALIENS.

Copyright 1992 Steve Rhodes

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