We study the fascinating calamity that was ‘Alien³’ — THE ANTI-MONITOR PODCAST
By Matt Fleming and Jarrod Jones. This is the ANTI-MONITOR podcast, where your ass is already on the line. This week, Jarrod & Birdy jump right into the havoc that was ‘Alien³’, the greatest misfire from Twentieth Century Fox until the next one. We discuss the production of the film, go to bat for David Fincher, and somehow give ‘Cutthroat Island’ a shout.
As always, be wary for spoilers throughout, and please enjoy.
ANTI-MONITOR — MATT: David Fincher gets a bad rap for his role in Alien³. After multiple rewrites, the third entry in the Alien franchise wasn’t exactly ideal material for a new director, but Fincher managed to pull through with a film that blended the first two entries as best as anyone could. Unfortunately, the product was a dull photocopy of the previous films that lacked spirit or energy, a boring movie about space jail that would have been better served as a stand alone stinker.
Alien³ wastes a stellar cast with a bloated plot that rarely resembles its predecessors, resulting in a boring movie about a hero who has clearly had enough and needs to go away. Perhaps if Fox executives had paid more care, if they had given this franchise a bit more TLC, David Fincher would have had an easier entry into Hollywood. Ellen Ripley definitely deserved better.
ANTI-MONITOR — JARROD: It’s a strange thing. I like Alien³. Yes, I know it gets really dull in its overlong second act, and I totally get that the special effects were anything but. Yet there is a thrust to this movie that wholly sets it apart from its two predecessors, which were also quite removed from each other. In a sense, with three separate movies playing around in different genre space with a central female protagonist as its only throughline, the Alien trilogy definitely remains one of Hollywood’s most enjoyable.
It is not, however, a great franchise. It is merely an exceptionally entertaining one. The portentousness of Prometheus wasn’t created in a vacuum, and the outright stupidity of AvP (parts I and II) didn’t come from nowhere. There are definitely threads from those films that lead directly to this movie’s doorstep. Its production waved every single red flag there could possibly be, in a vain attempt to tell the world that this, perhaps, was not a film that needed to be made. But it served as a vital lesson learned by director David Fincher, who would go on to make some of the best American films of this generation. That’s not for nothing.
CONSENSUS: Dull, fractured, and not very frightening at all, Alien³ is a film that’s nowhere near as fascinating as the story about how it got made. 4.5 out of 10
The Anti-Monitor podcast is co-written and produced by M. Fleming and J. Jones, edited by J. Jones.
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