3rd times a charm certainly wasn’t the case for the alien franchise. The troubled production of Alien ³ is very much storied, and the end result (to my memory) was disjointed, and vaguely insulting to fans of Aliens. I held onto those negative impressions, i didn’t buy the quadrilogy and instead bought the three other movies separately as i deemed Alien ³ to be unnecessary.
But a friend who had watched and liked the assembly cut convinced me to give it a second chance, i did and was frankly amazed at how much i liked it.
Jim Sterling did a defense of it in his short-lived Movie Defense Force on the escapist:
I agree with much of what he says in his defense of Alien ³ with the exception of him asserting it is the best, and that the aliens have stood for loss.
As Alien is the best in the series, and the creatures have consistently stood for one thing: Fear.
Also the film’s very existence renders Aliens pointless, as in both of the previous entries the end result of facing ones fears is victory and survival. This is particularly so with Aliens as its message is that of the benefits of facing ones fears can lead to self-healing, it’s only here in Alien ³ that the message changes.
But i’m getting ahead of myself.