David Fincher’s Alien 3

David Fincher’s Alien 3 is like the troublesome sibling, the antisocial, un-cinematic black sheep of the franchise, and I’m sure that’s exactly what he intended it to be. Mean spirited, desolate and callous towards the characters who just came triumphantly riding in off the victory of James Cameron’s Aliens, it’s a bleak, hopeless vision that plucks Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley our of the frying pan and plunges her right into the fire, namely a scary hellhole of a planet that’s pretty much one giant maximum security prison home to folks who are almost as menacing as that persistent Xenomorph who, naturally, has followed her there. Sporting a new buzz cut, Ripley contends with hostile inmates including Charles Dutton, Holt Mccallany and Pete Postlethwaite, sparks a romance with one of them (Charles Dance) encounters the remains of heroic Android Bishop (Lance Henriksen in a couple sly cameos) and continues her ill fated, never ending crusade to destroy the hostile extraterrestrial beastie. Fincher’s vision is a grim one, bereft of warmth, hope or humour, but he’s always injected his films with that kind of nihilism, which infects every frame and beat of this one. Admittedly, it’s the weakest in the initial quartet of Alien films, but in a franchise so consistently good, even the odd one out is still well worth seeing.

-Nate Hill

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