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Alien 3 (1992) Review

“Alien 3” is a 1992 American science fiction horror film directed by David Fincher in his feature film directorial debut, and written by David Giler, Walter Hill and Larry Ferguson from a story by Vincent Ward. It stars Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley and features Lance Henriksen, Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Paul McGann, and Pete Postlethwaite in supporting roles. The film’s title refers to a recurring theme of the number three in the series, which includes the characters of Ripley, the eponymous alien, and the android Ash.

Although “Alien 3” received mixed reviews upon release, it has since garnered a cult following. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Weaver has stated that “Alien 3” is her favorite of the “Alien” films.

Ripley crash-lands on Fiorina 161, a penal colony populated by male prisoners, with the sole survivor being an android, Bishop (Lance Henriksen). The inmates have been using alien eggs to breed aliens for “The Company” to study, and Ripley discovers that one of the aliens has impregnated her. As the prisoners attempt to kill the aliens and Ripley, an alien queen escapes and begins to terrorize the colony.

First things first, I honestly feel this should have been a better movie than it actually turned out to be. It has all the elements that make a good movie, acting, directing, set design, etc, etc… But it just isn’t as good as it should be. The main reason it falls down in my opinion, is because of lack originality in the storyline, it feels a lot of the time as if we’re re-walking trodden ground.

The set designs are very dreary but in a strange and interesting kind of way they really set the visual tone of the movie, a downbeat, grubby feeling. The music score composed by Elliot Goldenthal is actually quite impressive, in fact it’s one of the best things about this movie. Special effects are quite impressive for their time, we get to see a CGI alien, which some will either love or hate.

Acting wise this movie, like the two before it, is strong. Ex-wrestler Brian Glover puts in a convincing performance as super-intendant Andrews, whilst Sigourney Weaver puts in her usual quality performance. It’s said that the main reason why Alien 3 was not the success it should have been is due to the fact that the strict rules of production were not adhered too, when filming began. David Fincher (the director) and co were not even working with a completed script. Had things at this stage improved it’s possible that things could have turned out different for Alien 3 although I personally doubt it. All in all not a bad movie but most definitely should have been better.

“Alien 3” is a dark, gritty and atmospheric film that features some truly impressive set pieces and special effects. The film’s standout performance is Weaver’s as Ripley, who is forced to come to terms with her own mortality and the death of her daughter. The film also features some excellent supporting performances, particularly from Dance and Dutton.

While the film’s ending may be divisive, “Alien 3” is a well-made and suspenseful entry in the “Alien” franchise that is worth seeking out.


The film begins with a brief scene set shortly after the events of the previous film, in which Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crash-lands on Fiorina 161, a penitentiary planet. A board of inquiry is convened to determine the cause of the crash, during which Ripley insists that an alien was responsible for the deaths of the crew. The board decides that Ripley is to be temporarily suspended from duty and placed in the prison’s psychiatric ward for observation.

The next day, Ripley is told that the xenomorph has been killed and she is to be released from the psychiatric ward. However, as she is being escorted to her release, a series of explosions rock the prison. Ripley and the other prisoners take refuge in the prison’s foundry, where they find that the xenomorph has survived and is now killing the prisoners.

Ripley and the prisoners devise a plan to kill the xenomorph, and Ripley manages to lure it into the foundry’s furnace. The xenomorph is killed, but not before it mortally wounds Ripley. As she dies, Ripley asks the prisoners to tell her daughter that she loves her.

Movie Details

Director: David Fincher
Writer: David Giler
Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance
Release Year: 1992