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Alien 3


James Cameron's ALIENS would be a tough act to follow for any filmmaker. David Fincher is a brilliant director in his own right, making some of the best films of the last two decades, including "Se7en", "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Social Network" to name just a few.

Early in his film career, Fincher took the reins for this 1992 sequel to Aliens, creating the third chapter in the Alien saga.

The film starts out incredibly strong.

The familiar strains of the 20th Century Fox music fanfare suddenly turns sharp and wavering, turning into dark and shrill notes.

The opening credits quickly pop between titles and staccato cuts of action aboard Ripley's escape pod in which she, Newt and Corporal Hicks escaped at the end of Aliens.

It's obvious things have gone horribly wrong, with an alien creature aboard, oozing acid and destruction.

The pod crashes to the surface of a prison planet without any women on its surface.

At that point, just five minutes in, the film starts slipping from its promising beginning into something...less.

The next half hour or so still shows flashes of greatness, especially anytime that Ripley (Sigourney Weaver, still strong) shares the screen with the mysterious doctor in the prison, Clemens.

Clemens is played by Charles Dance, a great character actor now best known as Tywin Lannister on "Game of Thrones". He is a GREAT actor and he and Weaver have strong chemistry as two lost souls finding a quick moment of solace with each other on this miserable world.

The film's best scene finds a huge Alien creature entering the medical bay with Clemens and Ripley. There are moments in that 5 minute sequence as good as any Alien film or any Fincher film.

Alas, once Dance exits the picture, it becomes a much less interesting film, with unlikable characters played by actors that insist on shouting every line, a spin on the Alien creature that is less than successful and chase scenes that grow confusing and repetitive.

Weaver does what she can with an underwritten part and no one creates dank, dark atmosphere like Fincher, but with little stake in the outcome, it quickly becomes a lesser entry in the Alien film saga.

Lance Henriksen makes a strong appearance late in the movie that Bishop fans will appreciate, but its too little too late.

That being said, it's better than the next film in the series "Alien Resurrection" that took the Fincher factor to the next level.


Third time is definitely NOT the charm for ALIEN3, which gets a shrug and a C.

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