Rated R for monster violence, and for language.
Written and Directed By: James Cameron
Staring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Carrie Henn, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Al Matthews, Mark Rolston, and Jenette Goldstein
All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal’s a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the Corps! -Sgt Apone
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the sole survivor aboard the ship Nostromo. Almost fifty years have past when she is found by a salvage ship somewhere in deep space. Before she is fully recovered, the company questions what happened to her crew and the ship, and don’t believe her stories about an Alien being on board. The planet LV-426 is now a filled with over two hundred colonist’s making the air breathable. When Ripley discovers this she is distraught with concern and tells a liaison of the company, Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) about it. What she doesn’t know is that he issues an order for the colonists to search the location Ripley gave to see if the Alien ship is still there. Suddenly, they lose contact with the colonists. Burke returns to Ripley and begs her to be a consult on the mission to go to the planet and see what’s what. After much persuasion, she’s agrees. A team of space marines come for protection, and when they arrive, they find the place completely deserted, or so it seems.
Aliens had the same writers as Alien, but a new director, James Cameron,with an even larger scale of ideals about the sequel to an already classic science-fiction film. He took Aliens and turned it into masterful production of science-fiction and action-adventure combined. The base for the storyline was already built on the first film, and so the second already had it’s mythology created. A series of new characters make this cut. Some heroic, some villainous, and some just props for the show, but each engaging and compelling as the time is taken to develop each one, and mold out their personality types, so even your “C” character’s are three dimensional.
Get away from her, you *bitch!*
Ellen Ripley is the inspiration from which so many heroines have since stemmed. I don’t believe any have succeed in coming close to having achieved what she did with this character, though many have tried. What was so extraordinary about Ripley was the fact that she wasn’t necessarily equipped to handle the battles she eventually had to overcome. She did not persevere by muscles, super strength, or overt intelligence, she is resolved by sheer will and inner strength. When faced with her nightmares a second time she makes the actual choice to face her demons (who happen to be actual demons) but she does this knowing what the ultimate result with likely be. Her strength and her determination to persist is what makes her so palpable, yet so unique. By the third and fourth editions the films lose some of their integrity, but Ripley does not. Her character remains steadfast in who she was from the first scene she was in. Her passion, resolve, and complexity make her one of my personal heroes, and by far the greatest female character ever created.
Some of the most ground breaking special effects ever were used to create LV-426 and the Aliens that inhabited it. Even watching it twenty years after it was filmed in a time where CGI is now so common placed, it stands on it’s own. The creatures look real, and even more so the world itself feels real. While the movie is full of suspenseful non-stop action there is always time for reflection and certainly always time for an unforgettable one liner by any character. In the back round the most intense score by James Horner sends an even more eerie and ominous feeling about the destiny of our heroes.
Aliens was so perfectly sculpted into the masterpiece it became that there is no room for improvement. The time was taken for each character to be fleshed out even to seem real, and the story built layer upon layer of back story and structure to give it legitimacy. As stand out as some of the performances are, Sigourney Weaver captivates each scene she is in. Her conflict of fear and nightmares with her own strong will and bravery makes for a heavy, and extremely complex character, that has numerous motivators. It was without question Oscar quality. The physical appearance of the Aliens and LV-426, and the vastness of space is still up to par with today’s work. These are only a few of the reasons why I would deem Aliens the best science fiction film of all time, and my favorite movie of all time. It is perfection in creation. A film that will last for eternity in heart and mind.