After just about escaping with her life, Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) escape pod crashes on a prison planet, leaving her the only survivor. The inmates/planet’s inhabitants are all male and strictly religious and Ripley’s arrival causes much tension. It doesn’t help either when she discovers that she crashed because there had been an Alien in her pod. The residing doctor Clemens (Charles Dance) is the only one who believes Ripley when she says that there is a threat – at least at first. While they wait for the Company to come pick up Ripley, things become ever worse.
Alien³ does have some interesting moments. Unfortunately, it decides to focus on the other things instead and ends up being way, way too long.
Most people complain about the fact that basically everything Ripley fought for in Aliens, is obliterated by the beginning of Alien³. I can understand those complaints, but that didn’t bother me so much. The way I see it: Ripley still did everything she could to save them and Newt and Hicks not surviving doesn’t change the fact that she did save them for a while.
And at least they tried not to have the same plot again we had already seen twice. And the prison culture they introduced us to was pretty interesting – it just felt entirely out of place. Their philosophy and the struggle with the Alien just wouldn’t come together to form a cohesive whole.
The things they could have made so much out of was Ripley’s [SPOILER] “pregnancy” with the queen [/SPOILER] and her relationship with Bishop (or what remains of him) and the AI in general. Instead both topics are introduced too late into the film and are too quickly abandoned in favor of (not very good) action scenes.
And that’s when the film just becomes boring. The action scenes don’t work, the prisoners remain completely interchangeable (with the exceptions of Clemens and Dillon) and you just don’t give a damn about any of it.
Summarising: Not a really good addition to the franchise.