#ThrowbackThursday review: ‘Alien3’

‘Alien3′ tries to cash in on predecessors’ successes without adding anything

We can say two things for sure about “Alien3.” One: Computers are neat. Two: Apparently we don’t evolve beyond using basic computers from the 1990s.

Director David Fincher, you could establish, doesn’t have much desire for our futuristic heroes to utilize futuristic weaponry or computer science. Rather, it’s clear from the beginning “Alien3” is driving for a visceral experience. Because who needs sensical plot structure when sensation is the name of the game?

In short, we drop the creep and science for violence and iron, more “Mad Max” than “Alien.”

When we begin another galactic adventure in the “Alien” universe, we find a ship heading to Earth suffering some difficulties. On said ship is “Alien” and “Aliens” heroine, Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), and the other survivors from the previous installment. Instead of getting to Earth, though, the ships crashes on Fiorina 161, and Ripley is the only survivor. The burning question here is obvious: Just how old is she now?

Anyway, back to our crash-landing. The planet on which Ripley arrives is bitterly cold and home to the worst of society’s rejects. It also was a prison, but now it serves as a home for the former prisoners who decided to stay on the planet to live in accordance with the “rules” of their “apocalyptic millennarian fundamentalist Christian sect.” Whatever that is.

Despite an attempted gang rape by some less-than-classy inhabitants, Ripley gets to know the people living here while she waits for rescue. It doesn’t take long for her to realize something is amiss. It seems, just maybe, one of the horrific creatures she’s battling for so many years now may have made its way to the planet with her.

Turns out that’s exactly what happened. So Ripley gets everyone up to speed and decides to fight. Except, unlike “Aliens,” she has no weapons to aid her. Why there are no weapons on a former prison installation is beyond me, but all Ripley has is fire and cunning.

The situation devolves even further when Ripley learns she is somehow pregnant with one of the alien creatures. Not just any alien, but a egg-laying queen. How she was impregnated is a bit of a mystery, but it’s determined it happened on her ill-fated flight here.

For the most part, “Alien3” is sufficient. Its script will only make you laugh unintentionally sometimes, and the production set for the planet’s building is well-lighted and creepy. Weaver takes to the film with a stern, no-nonsense demeanor, and it works for her. After her previous encounters, there’s no room for a learning curve here.

The alien running around? You don’t see much of it, but what you do would leave you believing it can slither through walks, perhaps made of a black, black ooze.

In the end, “Alien3” leaves a lot to be desired. Instead of sticking with the strengths of either of the previous movies (Ridley Scott’s “Alien” or James Cameron’s “Aliens”), Fincher opts to use his experience directing music videos as his starting point. To the film’s detriment, you feel you’re watching a story that’s not necessarily meant to make sense.

Two impregnating stars out of five.

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“Alien” review
“Aliens” review

Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is not having a good day in this scene from "Alien3." (Photo credit: 20th Century Fox)

Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is not having a good day in this scene from “Alien3.” (Photo credit: 20th Century Fox)

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