Sunday, July 6, 2014

Alien 3

Movie Name: Alien 3
Year of Release: 1992
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Danny Webb, Christopher John Fields, Holt McCallany, Lance Henriksen
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7 (extended cut - 145 minutes)

David Fincher's "Alien 3" premiered in 1992, but it was marred by a hectic and troublesome production and pre-production history. The film went through different directors, storylines and screenplays, before 20th Century Fox settled on David Fincher, back then mostly known for his commercials work (he had directed at the time videos for Madonna and George Michael, to name but a few).
The film picks up immediately after the events of James Cameron's "Aliens": while in stasis, Ripley, Newt, Hicks, get attacked by a facehugger that was left behind by the destroyed queen alien. That forces an evacuation of the pods where they are all sleeping, and they all crash land on a planet, Fiorina 161, a semi-abandoned foundry and penal colony facility. In their pod also comes an alien, that attacks one of the animals of the facility, upon which it starts attacking all the inmates. It's up to Ripley and her newfound colleagues to battle this unstoppable menace.
David Fincher is, justifiably so, one of the most celebrated and interesting directors working these days, however in 1991, when he was hired to handle "Alien 3", there was a plethora of problems surrounding the feature. The main one, ended up being the fact that the screenplay was unfinished, and the studio kept on interfering with his decisions (creative and otherwise). This eventually resulted in Fincher abandoning the film, never claiming it as his own, not even to this day. The version that was released to the theaters was assembled by Terry Rawlings, but for the release of the "Alien Quadrilogy" box set, the longer cut that was initially presented to the studio was introduced, and that came closer to what originally Fincher intended to do. The film echoes some of the concepts presented by Ridley Scott in "Alien": a menace that is unstoppable and lurking, starts killing the humans and using them as hosts for new creatures. The sense of menace and the constraints of both technology and the prison facility, add to the claustrophobic feeling the director successfully creates. Visually the film is stunning, mostly due to the mix of futuristic landscape and medieval look that was part of the original concept of the screenplay. The cast is again uniformly good, with Sigourney Weaver evolving her interpretation of Ripley, who is now a tired and cynical survivor. Charles Dance and Charles S. Dutton give good support as the doctor who nurses Ripley and the spiritual leader of the community, respectively. The cinematography of Alex Thomson and the score from Eliot Goldenthal are fantastic. A good film worth discovering and watching.