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Species III (2004)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
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Overall Rating 42%
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Ranked #3,556
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Connections: Species

As her species decays succumbing to infections and illnesses, an alien seductress immunologically stronger becomes the only hope for them to live on. --IMDb
Robin Dunne
Robin Dunne
Robert Knepper
Robert Knepper
Sunny Mabrey
Sunny Mabrey
Amelia Cooke
Amelia Cooke
John Paul Pitoc
John Paul Pitoc
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Review by Crispy
Added: August 17, 2012
After the abysmal Species II, I was pretty leery firing up the next sequel, but I already made the decision to get through the franchise. Fortunately, it was something of a return to form.

Picking up directly where the last movie left off, it turns out the driver of the ambulance taking Eve's body and the undiscovered stowaway of one of Patrick's many offspring (called half-breeds) is something of a bleeding heart. Specifically, he finds it disgusting that humans can take it upon themselves to wipe out a species, and aims to perfect and save the alien species. After the half-breed takes out the soldier riding shotgun, he checks the back and finds Eve simultaneously giving birth and being strangled by her "step-son". Thinking fast, he grabs the infant and takes off running. The man is actually a professor at a large University named Dr. Abbot, and is using the school's funding to create a pure strain of alien DNA from the girl, who he names Sara. He enlists the help of one of his students, Dean, who naturally finds himself attracted to the now grown nubile blonde. They routinely let her go out prowling for a mate, knowing that since she's an offspring between Patrick and Eve, she's a purer alien than her mother or Sil, and no human will meet her expectations. Neither do the rest of the half-breeds when they show up, racked with diseases and following one of nature's basic instincts, continuing the species.

After the last debacle, Species III was definitely a pleasant surprise. Believe it or not, what really sold it for me was the strength of the story written. Now, I know there's been a hundred reviews claiming there's no plot and how it's just an excuse to bank in on some nudity, but while that was probably their game plan, I'm sure the story was damned in the eyes of these movie-goers before filming began, and it's relative place in the franchise is actually pretty strong. Getting away from the convolution of the last film, part three is much more streamlined, focusing on Patrick's offspring trying to keep their species going. Sara's escapades through the campus looking for a mate are pretty much copied and pasted from the last few movies, but the interaction between her and the original offspring brings a few new twists to the tiring series. Also, I do like how Abbot named his cat, Cat.

With all that said, this is still obviously a direct-to-video release, and the whole production is a few steps below the last few. There's no name stars, and the special effects don't quite reach the early CGI of the first movie. Although it does beat Patrick's stupid puppet. She has more of a habit of killing in her alien form, and the transformations back to "human" didn't look bad at all. Also, while it's not nearly as convoluted as Species II, there is a pretty jarring transition from the experiments with Sara and the plans of Amelia, a half-breed whose schemes make up the latter half of the movie.

Wanting to move on to bigger and better things, Natasha Henstridge decided to back out of the franchise. She appears just long enough to give birth to Sara. Replacing her in the sexy-alien role is Sunny Mabry, who is definitely a step backwards. A notch or two down on the hotness scale, and more than a few notches down in the acting depart, she wasn't bad per se, but I still wish Natasha remained on as the main girl. Robin Dunne ws pretty bad; not enough to ruin things, but not good. I really liked Robert Knepper as Dr. Abbot though. He brought a nice balance of scientist and madness to the table.

This would have been a very nice movie to go out on. It matched the entertainment value of the first film, and somewhat redeemed the second. Too bad they had to squeeze the blood from the stone and kick out a fourth. I can only imagine. 6.5/10.
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