May 26, 2003 -- ``Alien 3'' stars Sigourney Weaver, who also starred in the first two films. The monster looks the same and so do the sets, a lot of dark, dripping underground tunnels.
Unfortunately, this film does not have the same director, James Cameron, or the same producer, Gale Ann Hurd, who did such a great job on the second film in the series. Of course the first film in the series was directed by Ridley Scott, who had a best picture nomination last year with ``Thelma and Louise.'' Director David Fincher and the rest of the people who put this film together measure up better to the original film than the second one, which is far and away the best in the series.
As a stand-alone film, Aliens 3 is not a bad science fiction effort, but when compared to the second film in the series, it falls short.
It doesn't have the relentless suspense of the second film, and despite taking a lot of time to get set up, it fails to develop any of the characters except for Sigourney Weaver's character, Ripley. There are logical inconsistencies in the story, and between this film and the other two films. There are so many people crawling around in ductwork and running through a maze of underground tunnels that you can't make any sense of it. The confusion detracts from the suspense.
The basic plot is similar to the first two films. A slimy monster with an armored exoskelton and acid for blood is on the loose and it starts gobbling up people in dark tunnels. The uncertainty of how, where or when it will strike creates the suspense. In this film the humans pitted against the creature have no weapons. There is a surprise ending this time, however.
The film does manage to generate some suspense. Weaver, as usual does a good acting job, and is credited with co-producing the film, probably one of the inducements used to get her to agree to a second sequel. Once the story gets rolling it is interesting, but there's not enough here to make more than an average monster movie. This film rates a C.
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