Well, if it isn't obvious, Alien 3 is the weakest of the first three 'Alien' films. It's a film that director David Fincher isn't too fond of, but the film isn't his fault. He had little time to prepare for it, didn't have a complete script to work with, and the studio frequently argued with him over pretty much everything he did, resulting in him leaving the production before editing began. Really, can you blame him? He was pretty much going into a no-win scenario here. Alien 3 is a film that has had quite the troubled production; numerous rewrites were made and numerous directors were considered before Fincher was hired. Like I said, a 'no-win scenario'. Thankfully, Fincher's career didn't die as a result of this movie and he went on to go direct 'Se7en', 'Fight Club', 'The Social Network', and much more.
But enough about the production; time to dissect the film itself. First off, it kills off almost every surviving character from 'Aliens' except for Ripley (not a smart move). Not only that, but it then has her trapped in an all-male 'prison' without any real sign of a 'silver lining'. This movie is consistently depressing throughout; from a film perspective, it is actually well executed (Fincher is a director who does these 'unpleasant' environments quite well) but this was the wrong way to go for the franchise. It also doesn't help that all of the prisoners pretty much look alike, which makes it very hard to tell them all apart except for a distinct few. It tries to be scary like the first one, but fails to do so. There are only two good things I can think of from this movie; one is Sigourney Weaver, who once again does a great job as Ripley. The other is the ending, which made the bold move of killing her character off. It was meant to be the finale to the franchise, but unfortunately things didn't turn out that way.
All in all, I don't consider this to be a complete train-wreck, but this is severely disappointing after two excellent films in 'Alien' and 'Aliens'.
(P.S. at this time, I haven't watched the 'Special Edition' but I plan on doing so to see how that version fares in comparison to this version).