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Unlike Aliens, Alien 3 doesn't do much of anything that the first movie didn't. It answers the question of how to make a single one of the creatures scary again after Ripley fought off hordes the last time: replace the marines with bald, British criminals and take away their weapons. This time, the alien bursts out of an animal instead of a person, resulting in slightly different physiology. In some ways, it's the best looking of the first three films, with superior gore effects and a good looking alien. But whenever the shot is wide enough to see the entire thing visible, it ends up being horribly composited with the rest of the picture and actually looking worse than if they just cheated more with the camera work.
This was actually David Fincher's first feature film, though unfortunately not a very good one, and thanks to disputes with the studio he's basically disowned it. It's hard to say how much of the movie's badness is the result of outside tampering and how much is it just being a bad movie. It seems more hateful than the first two. The series is known for the vast majority of its characters dying, but this one kills off three survivors from the last movie in the beginning for no real reason. The setting is weird, and the surrounding cast this time is kind of dull, with every person sort of being the same dude. Aliens expanded on the series' scope, and Alien 3 draws it back, just trying to make some money without doing much that'll make it seem worth the time. Honestly, I can't think of many reasons I shouldn't just call it awful. The ending is unexpected and pointed, thought it didn't stop them from making yet another sequel five years later. I'm gonna go think about something else now.