You Must Watch The Most Controversial Sci-Fi Thriller On Amazon Prime ASAP
In 1992, anyone could hear sci-fi fans screaming.
In a November problem of Starlog, a cover headline read: “WHY READERS WASTED ALIEN 3.” Thirteen years after the debut of Extraterrestrial in 1979, the third installment of the patchwork franchise threw everything fans loved on fire. From mainstream reviews to hardcore genre fans, it’s hard to find someone who says something nice about Alien 3.
But is Alien 3 really terrible? And if it’s not terrible then what is it? here’s why Alien 3 is the most interesting and misunderstood sci-fi thriller of all time. And why it’s time to finally watch it now that the movie is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Why do people hate Alien 3?
The short answer is that many beloved characters die for no good reason, including young Newt (Carrie Henn) and Hicks (Michael Biehn). To make matters worse, these deaths mostly occur offscreen.
On paper, this could be considered a super-brave and telegraph to the public that anybody is secure. That’s right, but the real reason people hated the movie is that the deaths of these characters and the subsequent death of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) means Alien 3 made the whole story of the following films totally useless.
Essentially, Alien 3 says, “Okay, so they fought the aliens for a while, but then they crashed into a prison planet and everyone was killed.”
And yet there were a lot of great concepts in this film rippling beneath the surface … ready to appear …
Why Alien 3 is a good movie
Directed by David Fincher (his first film!), Extraterrestrial 3 feels like the Extraterrestrial the franchise has taken a left turn (because that’s literally what happens in the movie). Not a single character has plot armor, which, in the film’s defense, gives it a veneer of plausibility that is arguably lacking in any of the franchise’s other entries.
Alien 3 answers the question none of the other films were comfortable asking: what if this grim future was in fact much worse than we hinted at? He also postulates that human beings can be as bad as xenomorphs, which includes a particularly chilling performance from the future. Doctor Who Lord of time Paul McGann. In Alien 3, McGann plays a mass murderer named Golic incarcerated in the penal colony where Ripley and his company crash into.
(In the longest-running “Special Edition” airing on Amazon Prime, McGann’s Golic is more crucial and spooky than in the theatrical cut. If you’ve only seen him as the Doctor, McGann’s performance in Alien 3 is so off balance and amazing that you owe it to yourself to watch the movie just for that – then immediately watch the 1987 indie drama Withnail and me with McGann and Richard E. Grant!)
“Alien 3 simply exists, a orphan alien child that no one wants to claim.
But because literally no one is safe Alien 3 and so many characters are irrecoverable, the atmosphere is tragic. That doesn’t make it a great movie, but it does make it one that tries to be something separate from the rest of the franchise.
Each Alien movie pits a random group of people against impossible odds. From space miners, marines, pirates, scientists and even religious pilgrims, these groups of people have always been half-sympathetic, or at least innocent. But because everyone in Alien 3 is a violent criminal, there is something uncomfortable about watching the movie, which at least seems partially intentional. Other than Ripley, there are times when you honestly don’t know who you’re rooting for.
Alien 3 poor reputation
Enter the long and eventful history of the production of Alien 3 is something you can do on Wikipedia or the Alien fan-wiki, Xenopedia. These talking points are interesting and certainly help explain why the film is so dark, but at times seemingly unsure of itself.
Beginning its life as a screenplay written by beloved author William Gibson, the final version of Alien 3 in no way represented what was intended by Gibson or any of the half-dozen human beings who worked on the story and screenplay. Instead of, Alien 3 it looks like it wasn’t made by human beings at all. Fincher reneged on the movie, although you can totally tell it’s the same guy who directed Fight club and Seven.
Why Alien 3 special edition Questions
If you are looking for a movie that will make you happy and remind you why the Extraterrestrial the franchise is great, Alien 3 may not click. But that’s not why you have to look at it. If you’re interested in how difficult the great sci-fi movies of the early 1990s are and what it looks like when major talent is involved, this movie is fascinating.
Alien 3 will make you uncomfortable, but it’s not laughable. It’s an inspired failure, but because of the different writers in the film, it’s hard to say where the inspiration came from. Alien 3 simply exists, an orphan alien child that no one wants to claim. You don’t have to like it, but due to its dynamic cast, skillful staging, and absurdly dark swings, you have to accept that its existence is not typical.
Alien 3 may seem cynical in that his view of humanity is quite depressing, but it’s not cynical like Hollywood blockbusters may seem right now. This is not the movie that the fans wanted. This is not quite what Weaver wanted. This isn’t even the movie Fincher wanted. The aliens won, and maybe that’s okay.
Alien 3 special edition is streaming now on Amazon Prime.