(Review originally written at 2 May 2007)

After two extremely atmospheric, haunting and tense movies, this third Alien movie came as a bitter disappointment. It picks a more monster-horror approach, in which the 'monster' wants to kill everyone. Yes, it's true that in a way "Alien" wasn't much different, only difference was that in 1979 this approach was still new and original but not by 1992 standards anymore.

Problem is that this movie is fairly standard and mostly predictable. Basically this movie isn't much different from most other genre movies, in which a monster is on the loose and on a killing-spree. In this movie you exactly know who is going to die and when. It also really kills the tension the movie. The only thing that makes the killings still good and interesting is the amount of gore used for it.

The more 'monster' like approach of the alien also wasn't a good movie and it differs from the first two alien movies. The alien has a too prominent part in the movie and has way too much screen time. The mystery and horror of the character(s) in the first two movies was they the movie didn't showed them in many scene's, at least not fully. In the first two movies the alien was more presented as an animal, killing for their own survival. Not as a monster who kills for pleasure as in this movie is the case. This can be explained because of the reason that this alien in this movie is different from the aliens in the first two movies but this is not satisfying enough, considering that it is never explained in the movie why the alien acts and looks different.

The movie went too various re-writes, even during filming and suffered heavily from the studio's- and producers influences. No wonder that David Fincher doesn't want to have anything to do with this movie. With other movies he definitely showed that he is capable of directing both atmospheric and tense movies ("Se7en", "The Game", "Panic Room"), so it's definitely not has fault that the movie failed. As a matter of fact, the visual style and atmosphere of the movie still make sure that this movie is a better than average one.

There are some nice looking and claustrophobic sets featured in the movie. On the other hand the movie unfortunately felt the need to put in some computer effects and even though they of course look quite good for early '90's standards, it's terribly outdated and fake looking now.

The movie is carried once more by Sigourney Weaver's performance. Ripley is such a great and strong female character. It also shows courage and dedication to the movies and character that Sigourney Weaver shaved her head bald for this movie. Too bad that none of the other characters really work out in this movie. They mostly remain flat and uninteresting. The movie does feature some interesting actors such as Charles Dance, Ralph Brown and Pete Postlethwaite but all of their talent is wasted in the script, in which they get very little interesting to do or say. The re-appearance of Bishop also feels more of an obligation than it serves a real purpose, though fans won't complain about it and neither would I really. I love Lance!

Not the greatest, most tense, most original genre-piece around, not even on its own.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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