“Relentlessly bleak” is what a very young David Fincher was aiming for with the third instalment of the Alien franchise, and despite constant conflict with the studio that eventually saw the director quit and basically disown the film, at least that objective was met.
The movie begins with the deaths of our beloved survivors from Aliens, marine Hicks and young colonist Newt, after an escape pod crash lands on a bleak, unforgiving prison planet, populated by shaven-headed male convicts who have sworn off sin and found God. Not even the 20th Century Fox theme at the start of the movie escapes the gloom, the rousing fanfare morphing into an ominous drone. The action is slightly hobbled by Weaver’s insistence that there be no guns in this movie, leaving our protagonists with only their wits to defeat the alien that Ripley inadvertently brought with her.
Among the few joys here is the cinematography, as well as the character actors that make up the cast, with Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, The Imitation Game) putting in a wonderfully clipped and controlled performance as an ex-convict doctor and Ripley’s short-lived lover, and Pete Postlethwaite (The Usual Suspects, Romeo + Juliet) as one of the inmates.
‘Alien 3’ (1992). Director: David Fincher. Duration: 157 minutes. Format: DVD and Blu-Ray.