David Fincher gets a lot better and a lot more subtle at hiding his disdain for his films’ ‘airport bestseller’ source material. In ALIEN³, he barely disguises his contempt for James Cameron’s ALIENS and we end up with this film’s identity crisis as the narrative is pulled between the horns of ALIEN and ALIENS while tackling heady themes that the film’s grotesque mishmash of a script cannot support. A strong first half sets up some interesting ideas around religious oppression and redemption, toxic masculinity and Christian fundamentalism, and nihilism and suicidal ideation that all collapse in the second half as a shonky action-scene-by-committee extends interminably. A disappointment that collapses under its own thematic weight.

Full review available on The Xenopod: https://takeonecinema.net/thexenopod/alien3/