Aliens (1986)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
The Ultimate Alien.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

I don’t know about you, but every film in this franchise is directed by a huge name. Obviously, there is Ridley Scott – the creator and director of the first, and then Aliens is directed by none other than James Cameron, the third is from David Fincher, and the fourth – little known fact – is actually by Joss Whedon. Now we’ll get into those sequels, and a fifth movie I won’t mention here at a later date, today is all about the best movie in the original series – Aliens. Now, that’s an arguable fact, because most people can’t decide between the first and second, and understandably so, but my main argument is that this movie just had it all.

To remind you where the first film last left off, Ripley – believe it or not (couldn’t resist) – survived the atrocities of the first film, and was found about 60 years later in hypersleep. After telling the world her story, she’s first mocked as a crazy cat lady, like all those years in hypersleep froze some brain cells. The planet from the first film was now inhabited by about 65 families of scientists currently working on making it habitable. When transmission with the planet abruptly stops, Ripley is asked to join their team to figure out what happened…well…she agrees because she wants justice for what happened to her, and there are kids on that planet. They must go down there, and just…blow these creatures to smithereens.

What a movie, what a movie. I actually really like the first movie because it did a great job at slowly building a suspenseful story while introducing you to some very well-known characters, primarily Ripley. After all of that story and character development, they were ready to just…go all out and go in guns a’blazing. As a movie on its own, it works rather well, but you still need to see the first in order for this to make perfect sense. I like to look at it as an extension of the first film. Even seven years later, the movie still feels extremely similar…just better. There’s nothing wrong with the first, you just can’t do the same thing twice, which is where you get Aliens.

Aliens isn’t perfect by any means, but it is a heck of a lot of fun and satisfying on so many levels. When people think of the franchise as a whole – in terms of themes, humanity, action, violence, tones…all of it points to this specific movie when you think about it. Sigourney Weaver is at her best here. She did great in the first, but she was equally part of a team…she clearly led this cast as the heroine in the sequel. But beyond that, there was just a lot of action, a lot of gunfire and explosions, yelling, running, swearing…it’s so cheap in a way – but it works so, so well. And I’m sure a part of why that is…is James Cameron.

For an early movie in his career, you can really feel his influence. This was just two years after the movie that gained him recognition, The Terminator. Guess what? Michael Biehn, the guy that played Kyle Reese in The Terminator played a vital role in this movie as well, and the planes/ships they flew in the movie looked awful familiar to the futuristic Terminator planes. Beyond that, it just has that epic feel that Cameron often brings to the table. I’m not kidding when I say he was the perfect fit for the series. It’s just a shame that the next two films (from my recollection) drop significantly on how well they are done…

The Good:

This is truly the best film in the franchise. It has it all – it has tons of action, creepy creatures, bloody violence, fiery explosions, and all of it has raised the bar with an absolutely unstoppable and solid plot.

The Bad:

I don’t know…maybe it’s too long? Nahhhhhh

Memorable Quote:

Hudson: What are we gonna do?

Burke: Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don’t we try that?

3 thoughts on “Aliens (1986)

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