Today is the 25th Anniversary of Alien 3 (1992). Alien Anthology (Blu-ray release 2010-10-26) contains the extended version of it known as the Assembly Cut. Most people think that the Assembly Cut is better than the theatrical version, and technically it is. However, I still do not like it.
After Ripley rescued Newt in Aliens (1986), which is an exceptionally great movie, Alien 3 begins by telling us this adorable 10-year old girl is killed. So all the great effort done before is wasted. Even if the rest of Alien 3 were good, this makes it sour. If the rest is bad, as most people thought, this makes it unforgivable. This choice is just morally wrong.
Not long after learning Hicks died – who was a good guy, flirted with Ripley, and a survivor from the previous movie, Ripley seduces a doctor in this male-only prison planet and has sex with him. I think this development is odd and not consistent with her personality established in the previous two movies.
Then Ripley faces dangers from the other prisoners. A significant part of the movie is devoted to Ripley’s presence imbalancing the harmony of the prison. In another drama movie this may have worked, but I think this is not the right content for an Alien movie. The dangers should primarily come from the alien and the company in an Alien movie.
Most people who get killed by the alien is murderer and rapist. So I have no reason to care about them, regardless of how much character development they are given.
While having no weapon in this movie might be a noble idea, the weaponless fight against the alien involves prisoners running in the tunnels in a really confusing manner. This is just a dull experience. It may help portray the bleak atmosphere, but I want an entertaining movie instead.
To summarize, the setting and the plot of the Alien 3 make many wrong choices, thereby preventing it from becoming a successful movie.