1992, R, 115 min. Directed by David Fincher. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Lance Henriksen.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., May 29, 1992

Back for the third time (and no, it's not Alien Cubed as the title would have you think), Lt. Ripley and H.R. Giger's brainchild face off in this beautifully shot and utterly uninteresting sequel. Director Fincher is best known for his music videos (Madonna, Paula Abdul) and his MTV sensibilities are in full evidence, right down to the film's breakneck pace and jagged editing. Set on a remote penal colony where her escape pod has crash landed, Ripley finds herself an unwelcome guest amongst 24 “double Y-chromosome” psychos along with their warden and medical officer. Not long after her arrival, prisoners start dying in gruesome fashion and before you can say “chestburster,” the prisoners put one and one together and the film is off. The catch here is that, since this is a penal colony, there aren't any high-tech weapons to use against the beastie (unlike the last time out, which was an enjoyable sort of Rambo In Space). Rumors have abounded concerning just how troubled a shoot the film was, and it does have a sense of confusion about it. The inmates have discovered god and formed a semi-christian cult in which they can soothe their consciences and make their stay in hell a bit more palatable (a holdover from the original script, which was set in a colony of monks). It's an interesting twist, but hardly enough to sustain a 120-minute film. Fincher's camerawork gives the movie a jittery feel, and his video-trained eye lends the prison sets the look of a dilapidated cathedral, but again, there's really nothing here that we haven't seen before, and better, at that. Nice title, though.

More David Fincher Films
Gone Girl
When a lady vanishes, David Fincher holds the moral compass.

Marc Savlov, Oct. 3, 2014

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Rooney Mara completely nails the role of Lisbeth Salander, and director David Fincher is no slouch either in this perhaps unnecessary remake of the Swedish thriller.

Marc Savlov, Dec. 23, 2011

More by Marc Savlov
Treacly feel-good drama nevertheless has helpful life lessons

Nov. 17, 2017

An original take on a crisis of faith

Nov. 17, 2017


Alien³, David Fincher, Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Lance Henriksen

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)