Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Why Alien 3 sucks

Aliens came on the other day. I think Bill Paxton should be in every movie ever.

I was thinking about Newt and Ripley and how much it sucked that you watched her work so hard and almost die and sacrifice everybody to save Newt, when the kid dies offscreen in the first few minutes of the third movie.

What the fuck were they thinking with that? "Hey, you know what will make people really love our movie? Let's kill off the almost potential love interest and the cute kid everyone rooted for all through the last movie right there at the beginning, and let's do without even showing it. Let's just tell everybody they died for no real reason whatsoever, right in the first few minutes so everyone is sad and annoyed right off the bat."

You can't open your story by pointlessly killing the cute kid I spent a whole movie rooting for. You just can't. I don't care what else happens in your story.


  1. Anonymous9:56 PM

    I totally agree. Not only do they knock off Newt but Hicks, too. And Bishop the android ends up in the trash. What a waste of interesting characters!

    -Mr. Penn State

  2. They prolly thought it was "edgy"

  3. I refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Alien movies past Aliens precisely because You Cannot Do That To Newt™ (Hicks as well, but Newt to this day is my favorite example for a non-annoying movie kid).

    But if there were to be further movies, I would have a hard time getting to the required Ripley-alone-vs.-the-alien(s) third act without resorting to variations of what Cameron did in Aliens (which would be horribly clichéd) or, worse, killing them off during the movie.

    I believe I once read something where Cameron said he had to grudgingly agree that starting Alien^3 without Newt and Hicks off was the only way to go forward, but in his mind the three lived happily ever after.

    (William Gibson had Hicks in a coma in his Alien III script which is not a bit better than what we got. Err, if we had gotten anything, that is, since there are only two Alien movies.)

  4. Aliens 3 doesn't suck because they killed off Newt. I'm a firm believer that you can do anything you want in a film and get away with it as long as you have good reasons for doing it.

    Aliens 3 sucks because it's one of the biggest examples in history of suits and egos getting in the way of making a movie.

    The sad thing with Aliens 3 is that it's the only dark mark on the career of David Fincher.

  5. Anonymous11:25 PM

    I'll chime in on this... regardless if Hicks and Newt were cool and lovable... well, perhaps if they were annoying as shit and the audience might rejoice... under no other circumstance should surviving characters be killed off immediately, when they survived the previous installment. There was a reason for it. A good setup. It's insulting to the characters, the audience and for once, to the actors.
    Biehn was at his peak. I'd venture to say that was probably the hardest hit he's had to endure. No rhyme or reason. One could speculate that crushed both him and his career from that point.

    In contrast to OJ, there are perfectly acceptable paths to be chosen in order to place Ripley without Newt and Hicks. In fact, dual storylines to heighten the thrill ride.

  6. "Biehn was at his peak. I'd venture to say that was probably the hardest hit he's had to endure. No rhyme or reason. One could speculate that crushed both him and his career from that point."

    One can speculate all kinds of things that ultimately are not true.

    "under no other circumstance should surviving characters be killed off immediately, when they survived the previous installment."

    I'm not defending this movie because I'm not a fan, but using blanket statements such as this one is silly when it comes to movies. Movies are an art form, a form of expression. Your ideals/tastes/beliefs won't match with those of every other film goer or filmmaker.

  7. Funny, because of the age I was at the time I always kind of looked at ALIEN 3 and the killing off of those characters as being about the end of giant eighties blockbusters and all the fun that signified. Since we were moving into the nineties, things were going to be darker. But that was just my own viewpoint at the time.

    There are glimmers of Fincher's talent in the film but it's too much of a mess to really work. Sure, it's dark and depressing (and I like dark and depressing)but that's not enough of a reason to defend it like some do. The movie has also been looked at as an AIDS metaphor by some people out there but so little in the story works dramatically that even that doesn't really work. I did always like Charles Dance's big confession scene, though.

    Saying that not being in this sequel crushed Michael Biehn's career would be like if in fifteen years a person said that Ian Somerhalder's career was destroyed by getting killed off LOST so early in the run. Thing is, he got another job. He's on a new hit show now. There's obviously a lot more to Biehn's career than not being in this one movie. To the studio, he just wasn't considered integral and the one they wanted to pay money to was Sigourney. It's business, not personal. Hey, the guy worked for Friedkin twice--maybe that killed his career. I did like him in PLANET TERROR, though.

    And if killing off characters at the beginning of a sequel is a great idea then you should absolutely do it. It all depends on the specific case.

  8. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Alien 3 sucks because you got these directors,writers,actors who think just because they read comics and graphic novels they could make a movie or write a screenplay. I met this guy from a forum who reads and buys tons of comic books and he said this is how Alien 3 should of been done. He actually spend tons of money to pay some artist to draw over 100 pages of it. Turned out to be one dimensional
    shit. Just like Alien 3. What is it with guys and chatting about comics and graphic novels and think they can make a movie. That is not how movies are made.

    Yes. Alien 3 sucks.


  9. I heard Biehn was a pain in the ass and no one wanted to work with him any more.

    And the woman who played Newt walked away from movies forever and is now a schoolteacher living a quiet life in the SW somewhere.

    But yeah, it was a crappy opening to the movie. It felt gratuitous.

  10. Especially with the crap that the next film was. They should have done Eric Red's version. Excellent. Up on dailyscript.

  11. Anonymous6:54 PM

    I remember sitting in the theater back in '91, watching previews. The trailer that caught my attention most was for Alien 3. Only it wasn't the Alien 3 we all know and loathe. It was for a story they never freakin' filmed, about the Aliens landing on earth. What a complete disappointment the final product was. I read somewhere the budget was cut to shreds, but that's only half the problem. Dark as they were, the first two Alien flicks really did have a positive element to them - the element of survival. Alien 3 offers no such hope, taking all the thrill out of a thrilling franchise (that sounds cheesy, I know). I actually blame Fincher here. Talented as he is, he let his sensibilities enter a franchise where they simply didn't fit in.

  12. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Christain H,

    Long time no post. What's up? You use to post on UNK blog a lot, what happened?

    Anyways, let's say a producer ask you to write the script for Alien(s) 4, what would page 1 look like? Could you post a sample here.

    And you still posting on Done Deal Movie Bytes and Wordpress or are you Done with them, lol?
    Anyways, nice to you posting again.


  13. Agree totally. I really hated how they killed off Newt and Hicks, and destroyed Bishop, after all they'd gone through in Aliens. Those characters deserved better.

  14. Anonymous7:50 PM

    "Biehn was at his peak. I'd venture to say that was probably the hardest hit he's had to endure. No rhyme or reason. One could speculate that crushed both him and his career from that point."

    Biehn was a drunk who destroyed his own career. I worked as a set P.A. on "Tombstone" and he was an out-of-control asshole of a drunk who smashed another P.A.'s video camera because he dared point it at Biehn one day during lunch. That guy crushes his own career every time he killed another bottle.

    The reason Alien 3 sucks, incidentally, is because they ignored what made the first two movies different than all the other monsters in space films. Alien is a horror film disguised as a science fiction film; it uses all of the tropes and the script beats of a haunted house movie. Aliens is a squad combat film disguised as a science fiction film; it uses all of the tropes and script beats of a war movie in a science fiction setting. Aliens 3 is set in a prison... but it's not a prison movie disguised as a science fiction film. It could have been a great prison film disguised as a science fiction film, but instead it's a monster movie set in a convent, but there's no such thing as a convent movie genre... so there was nowhere to go vis-a-vis genre mashup.

  15. That's a very good point anonymous Anonymous. It SHOULD have been a prison movie, but it was trying to be some kind of edgy Mad Maxish thing and failing.

  16. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Fairly new to the franchise. Just watched the movie. Very disappointed.

  17. I think the other reason why Alien 3 sucked was because it didn't have strong character development like the other two previous films. The previous films made you care about the characters, which made their encounter with the alien(s) more thrilling, because you wanted to see them to live. Burke was the one guy that made you happy to see get killed in Aliens, but that was once the audience realized he was a bad guy.

    At the beginning of Alien 3, the audience realizes that the characters they will have to root for are a bunch of prison inmates. Sorry, but it's kind of hard for an audience to have sympathy for a bunch of murderers and rapists getting killed by an alien. That would be the equivalent of expecting an audience to root for members of the KKK against an alien.


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