Alien 3 (1992)

Rating: **
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Sigourney Weaver

After James Cameron's masterpiece "Aliens" (1986), the series had nowhere to go but downhill, and "Alien 3" goes there pretty quickly. While on her way home, Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) ship crash lands on a prison planet for "mysterious reasons." Unfortunately Newt and Hicks don't survive the crash and another alien critter is on the loose. From there it's a by-the-numbers horror film as the alien takes out the prisoners one by one until once again it's up to Ripley to take out the trash. The only problem is, she's got an alien queen growing in her, so she does the honorable thing and throws herself into a vat of molten steel to make sure the nasty beast is utterly destroyed. The film is boring and doesn't even look all that good, and Ripley's bald head doesn't help. A bigger problem, however, is that all of the characters are despicable psychotic criminals, causing the viewer to be apathetic about their gruesome demises and to have no emotional investment in them. One fateful night, I saw this with Kim and she tried to convince me that something much deeper was going on. Her impression was that the alien of the film was symbolic for AIDS and that the ensuing carnage represented society's reaction to being contaminated by a tainted woman. Well... that's not what I got out the film. Disappointing, but watchable.