After escaping with Newt and Hicks from the alien planet, Ripley crash lands on Fiorina 161, a prison planet and host to a correctional facility. Unfortunately, although Newt and Hicks do not survive the crash, a more unwelcome visitor does. The prison does not allow weapons of any kind, and with aid being a long time away, the prisoners must simply survive in any way they can.
Aliens, a great action movie, cheapened the original by replacing one hyper-intelligent, indestructible monster with an army of gormless critters. This third entry has only one creature, but unfortunately it's just as gormless. When Ripley (Weaver) crash-lands on a prison planet full of hard-nut slap-heads, they haven't seen a woman in years. Discovering that there's an alien loose, Ripley asks the warden to break out the guns, and can't believe it when she is told there aren't any. Nor can we. Good acting has salvaged many a poor script in the past, but not here. Dance is slaughtered in the first act, as is the regulation bastard warden (Glover), leaving only Sigourney, impressive as ever, and a motley cast of extras. Though wasteful of the expensive sets, Fincher's tight close-ups do add to the sense of claustrophobic panic.
Don't feck with The Baldies! Special Edition. I love it, I really do. OK! So it's basically a monster on the loose piece, but the setting at a sci-fi prison colony - complete with nutty religious shards - makes for a thrillingly atmospheric ride. Of course if this was merely a stand alone film, where there was no Alien and Aliens previously, I feel sure the special edition cut would be thought of differently. A roll call of Brit thesps line up for some tension filled entertainment as director David Fincher and cinematographer Alex Thomson provide a look that is both beautiful and scary. The metallic nightmare of chambers and cold concrete fused together for some hellish stalk and paranoia. Industrial Punk? Steam Punk? Cyber Punk? Fincher Punk? Hey man, we gotta give it a name! And of course there's Siggy Weaver front and centre, the reassuring presence among the murderers, rapists and child molesters. I could live without the attempt at a transcendent finale, but in extended form this has much to light your fires. It also showed that Fincher would be a director to watch - imagine if had he been left alone to craft his own vision? His subsequent career and standing makes a mockery of the studio execs involved in the making of Alien³. 8/10
**Superior in every department to the basic shoot em up, Aliens,** Alien 3 returns the franchise to its artistic horror roots established by Ridley Scott. No more Disney kids, happy endings and machine gun wielding irritants. This movie is a beautifully bleak experience and is the true sequel to Alien (1979). Performances are excellent all round - especially Charles Dance as prison doctor, Clemens, and, of course, Sigourney Weaver - who gives us her best performance as the downtrodden Ripley. A masterwork by David Fincher that restores the horror and dignity to the series. Thank goodness for Alien 3! - Charles Dance