Thursday, October 14, 2010

Alien3: One to Skip

“Do you have any faith, sister?”
“Not much.”
“Well, we’ve got a lot of faith here. Enough even for you.”
“I thought women weren’t allowed.”
“Well, we’ve never had any before. But we tolerate anybody. Even the intolerable.”

The first film in the Alien franchise was all about a ship investigating what they thought was an S.O.S. that turned out to be a warning. Consider this your warning. This is the movie you skip. It is “the intolerable.” David Fincher, who got the start to his very successful directorial career with this movie, walked off the project before the editing was started and refuses to claim it to this day. The story is half baked and a huge mess. In the Alien box set they ought to replace this movie with a card that simply reads: “At the end of Aliens, Ripley is infected with an alien and dies never having woken up.” Then you could go onto the fourth film having never watched this mess.

That being said—and this is still not a recommendation that you watch this mess—there are some interesting observations about religion in this story. In one of the many development phases for this film, it was going to take place in a monastery. The final version occurs on a prison planet, but it is basically the same thing. It seems the prisoners all found religion as so many prisoners do. When the prison was going to be shut down, they opted to stay there so as to avoid temptation and sin. All the prisoners are “double y chromosomes,” men that are so tainted with humanity that they are ultra prone to sin. Their version of Christianity is one of those types that is so like all other legalistic religions the world over. You only know that it is Christianity because a character says it is. Otherwise there is no mention of Christ or the Gospel.

This representation of Christianity is both sad and enlightening. It is a completely irrelevant religion. It hides from the world and carries no hope or grace. If this is what the world thinks of when it thinks of Christianity, then many people who take the name of Christ have been taking it in vain.

(This movie is rated R, partly for the gore but largely for the language. The Christians in this film may be legalistic in many things, but not in how they speak. You have been warned!)

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