The Bitch Is Back
After James Cameron's 1986 action/adventure epic, "Aliens," director David Fincher aimed to take the "Alien" franchise back to its horror roots with 1992's "Alien 3," starring Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley once more.
When last we saw Ripley at the end of "Aliens," she was safe and sound in hypersleep with Newt, Hicks and the damaged android Bishop. They had survived their encounter with LV-426 and were on their way back home, but the Company has more in store for them.
"Alien 3" starts in deep space with the Colonial Marine spaceship Sulaco. An onboard fire launches an escape pod containing our characters, which crashes on Fiorina ‘Fury' 161 -a foundry facility and penal colony inhabited by all-male former inmates with "double-Y" chromosome patterns.
A group of inmates from the foundry facility recover the escape pod and its passengers. As the prisoners salvage what they can from the wreck, a facehugger is briefly seen approaching one of the prisoner's dogs.
Ripley is taken in and awakened by Clemens (Charles Dance), the facility's doctor, and learns that she is the only survivor of the crash. Hicks was killed during the crash, and Newt seemingly drowned in her crytostasis chamber.
So now Ripley is all alone yet again, on a planet filled with rapists and murders that have embraced an apocalyptic religion, which forbids sexual relations. Being the only female on the whole planet, Ripley's presence has upset the penal colony's balance.
Back in the facility the dog from the crash goes into convulsions, as we realize it was impregnated. A new breed of alien erupts from its body - one that resembles the host from which it came. The alien soon begins to attack members of the prison colony - the nightmare has started all over again.
Ripley tells the warden of her previous encounters with this species and demands that the group hunt it down, but as past authoritative figures have done in the "Alien" franchise, he ignores her and informs her that there are no weapons at all in the facility.
Their only hope of protection is the rescue ship being sent for Ripley by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Are they really coming for her, or the alien?
Don't get me wrong, "Alien 3" is a solid addition to the "Alien" franchise and a fitting end to a trilogy. To truly enjoy "Alien 3," however, one must be fairly sympathetic to its troubled production.
David Fincher was brought into the project very late in its development, after a proposed version written by Vincent Ward ("What Dreams May Come") fell through. The story went through multiple scripts and Fincher didn't even have a script to shoot when production started. His vision was also constantly compromised, as he had to endure incessant creative interference from the studio.
When I watch "Alien 3," I feel a slight sadness for what could have been. The whole film feels rushed and empty, and the decision to kill off Newt and Hicks is a slap in the face to fans of "Aliens." I often wonder how great a third "Alien" film could have been with that family unit in tact.
Overall, "Alien 3" is a weak film in comparison to its predecessors, but what it lacks in polish it makes up for with that unmistakable dark David Fincher atmosphere. I would recommend seeing "Alien 3" to see the conclusion of Ellen Ripley's story - and be sure to check out the 2-Disc collector's edition to get the benefit of production documentaries and other wonderful bonus materials.
By Adam FrazierFrom: Wild Bluff Media Inc.