Director Spotlight: Alien 3
“You’ve been in my life so long, I don’t know anything else.”
This month’s Director’s Spotlight takes a look at David Fincher. We are starting this off with a movie that has been overlooked by a lot of people, myself included, Alien 3. I am going to be talking about some things from Alien 3 that are definitely spoilers for people who haven’t seen it. This movie tends to get a lot of flack for being the third in the franchise and for what it did to certain characters from the blockbuster hit sequel Aliens. You have been warned.
Alien 3 was David Fincher’s first movie. After having worked his way up from directing commercials and music videos, Fincher was hand-picked by the producers to take over behind the camera after the original director left the project. (Sigourney Weaver who plays Ripley was impressed by ideas and concepts that Fincher brought to the table.) I hadn’t seen this movie in a very long time. In fact, I wasn’t a big fan of this movie until I saw the director’s cut version on the blu ray. The director’s cut of the movie adds an extra thirty minutes of deleted scenes and is a much better movie than the version released in movie theaters in 1992. If you haven’t seen Alien 3 yet, this is where I am going to get into spoilers.
After the events of Aliens, (Ripley escapes from the Sulaco after destroying the Alien Queen. The only survivors are Ripley, Corporal Hicks and Newt.) Ripley’s escape pod crash lands on a prison planet out in deep space. The planet was a mining facility until it stopped being profitable. Now, it’s run by a skeleton crew of prisoners and two jailers. All of the people on the planet are men and when Ripley arrives she disrupts everything. The prisoners haven’t seen a woman in a very long time and have also discovered religion. Led by a charismatic prisoner named Dillon (Charles Dutton in a movie-stealing performance. His death scene is my favorite sequence in the movie.) the prisoners have become religious zealots who don’t take to kindly to strangers, xenomorphs or women. Of course, this being an Alien movie, an Alien has followed Ripley down to the planet and before long everyone starts to believe the crazy woman who keeps talking about monsters.
Seeing this movie now I can appreciate what Fincher was going for which I didn’t and couldn’t quite “get” when I saw it as a kid. This is a very different movie than Aliens and was an attempt to bring the franchise back to the roots and ideas from the original Alien. Alien 3 only has one Alien creature as the main monster not the endless army of monsters of the previous sequel.The prisoners are more like the regular people from the first film as opposed to the super heroic Colonial Marines from Aliens. Fincher adds his own twists to the story of the franchise and for what it’s worth he did try to end the franchise on a high note. The cast is excellent and a lot of familiar faces are in this movie. Pete Postlethwaite, Charles Dance and Dutton give great performances and as I said before Dutton steals the movie. Sigourney Weaver plays Ripley as a strong but reluctant heroine and I really liked her in this. Alien 3 has aged very well and I highly recommend it to fans of Fincher’s work and fans of the Alien movies.
Posted on January 6, 2012, in Director Spotlight and tagged Alien 3, Charles Dance, Charles S. Dutton, David Fincher, Lance Henriksen, pete postlethwaite, Sigourney Weaver. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.