Thursday, December 8, 2016

Alien 3

Alien 3 is perhaps the most hated of all Alien sequels, though not due to its quality on a whole, but rather the way the film begins. The film opens with the death of the apparently much beloved Hicks and Newt, whose rescue had been a pivotal part of climax of the previous film. Even poor Bishop's is disconnected in a pitch black scene. That might seem a regression but it is actually a progression in terms of creating the last act of the trilogy. If the first film was defined by birth, the second by war, the third film is death. The film takes place on a bleak prison colony where all men are essentially there until they die, except for a few hapless guards, and a good natured doctor though with a troubled past. The dire place only goes grimmer with a new alien coming to life, and an accounted for face hugger. I find the film works within the context as the final act of Ripley's story, rather than as the a sequel to Aliens. It redefines itself back to a more claustrophobic thriller, though I would argue different than the original, in a way a more emotional story about accepting the end. The film is not flawless, the lame CGI would prevent it from being so, but in its assembly cut it does present an effective horror film with a powerful human story within it. This is well realized through Sigourney Weaver's incredible performance, and a memorable supporting cast including Charles Dance as the doctor, Charles S. Dutton as the spiritual leader of the prisoners, and Paul McGann as a prisoner with a particularly twisted mind. David Fincher's vision can actually be seen in the palatable atmosphere, even if there are a few times where it gets slightly muddled by obvious interference. It is not the cleanest closer to the trilogy, but I actually find it to be a fitting one in the end. I will admit though that I possibly benefited from watching this film before I ever saw Aliens, and in doing so I could only see what the film had to offer as itself.

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