I remember when my mom (God rest her soul) and I went to go see Alien 3 in the theaters. We were both already big fans of the first two films, and the trailers made this one look really exciting.
We went, we saw it, we enjoyed some elements, but when we left the theater, we were left with an impression of "hmm..."
With repeated viewings, the story grew on me. I thought it a very intelligently written story, and the brief romance between Ripley and Clemens was an interesting breath of fresh air in an overall arc in those three films that was devoid of human affection (save for Ripley's caring for Newt). It had, I thought, some really sharp dialogue in the side story about the religion that the prisoners adopted, and the evolution/devolution of Fury 161 as a correctional facility.
Charles Dance brought a new sense of class to the Alien story with his character, the disgraced Doctor Clemens. In other ways, this motley collection of characters sort of made me think of the realm of Mad Max.