Cruising through space on the way back from her last battle with the ALIENS, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crash-lands on what is possibly the least desirable piece of real-estate in the Galaxy--a run-down, low-tech penal colony inhabited by a bunch of serial killers who have developed their
own brand of fundamentalist religion. Ripley--her head shaved as a precaution against lice--holds her own among this unsavory bunch, even getting friendly with the colony's doctor (Charles Dance), a charming Englishman with a mysterious past. Before long, though, it's Ripley's past that comes back
to haunt her, as it becomes increasingly clear that her old, double-jawed, acid-blooded friends are back.
ALIEN3 is a would-be blockbuster that is marred by an overlong, clumsily choreographed final chase scene, as the prisoners lure the alien through a seemingly endless series of tunnels in an attempt to trap it. Nevertheless, the absence of high-tech gadgetry, and the almost medieval atmosphere of
the colony, put an intriguing, Gothic spin on what could easily have been a tired re-run. Director David Fincher, a 28-year-old music video whiz-kid, has done an impressive job with the visuals, which are artfully composed without drawing undue attention to themselves. Through it all, the
incomparable Ms. Weaver does her patented feminist action-hero thing, projecting intelligence, resilience and grim humor.
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