Plot: The moon from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?
Ellen Ripley has been floating through space for 57 years after fighting off the Alien and destroying the USCSS Nostromo. When she awakes she is interrogated, the Corporation being as sceptic about her claims about the monstrous alien as they are angry that she destroyed their ship. She is released of her duties, and starts to do some menial tasks around the spaceship (I assume until she can return home as a really young looking grandma). However, when contact is lost with the exomoon where the Alien so nicely attacked Riply, the Corporation quickly forget that they mistreated her and want her to travel to the moon with a bunch of super strong marines and go see what is cracking. Ripley knows exactly what they are about to face – but can she convince her crew and get out alive again?
What I loved about this film:
Ellen Ripley – eeek!! She’s so badass and ready to deal with an Alien once again. She’s capable and smart and knows how to handle herself, despite being a bit shaken up by her previous trip. She’s the ultimate girl power and Sigourney Weaver couldn’t help but rock the hell out of that role.
The cat stayed at home – I was way too worried about that damn cat in the first film.
Burke (Paul Reiser) was such an ass. He seemed WAY too nice at the start of the film, way too friendly and accommodating, and I suspected his sorry ass from the start. What he did to Newt and Ripley was terrible, and eventually revealed himself to be a power hungry fool.
I really liked Bishop (Lance Henriksen) – I understand why Ripley didn’t trust him one bit after her encounter with Ash but he at least seemed capable of dealing with drama and proving Ripley wrong.
Replacing the cat as the-thing-Ripley-needs-to-save is Newt (Carrie Henn), the young little girl who managed to keep herself alive while the aliens killed her entire colony. I liked Newt, she was sweet and not nearly as annoying as I thought she would turn out.
Hicks (Michael Biehn) was a great character. He had sense and leadership and a dash of badass and it was appealing. I was glad that he also got off the moon – thank GOODNESS.
The pace of the movie is relentless. So much intensity passes in the (astronomically long, TBH), running time. It’s attack after attack and similarly to Alien, just when you think the Aliens are GONE, there is yet another one that pitches. It would have been annoying if it wasn’t so well directed and the aliens weren’t so imposing, and the final fight between Ripley and the Alien queen was great. I loved Ripley’s line and her subsequent killing of the queen – it reminds me SO MUCH of what Molly yells at Bellatrix before she kills her in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Is there something I didn’t like? Well, I really thought the running time was way too long – it is a James Cameron film, and we all know he can go on and on if you let him. I rarely have the patience to sit down for so long – I’m fully convinced that I have adult-developed ADHD (as improbable as it sounds). I managed to get through this because it is good – but my goodness, it was long.
Private Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein) was embarrassingly stereotyped – she was so butch and overly foreign (I don’t even know what they were aiming for). It could have been a more subtler approach, but hey, it was 1986, so I guess I shouldn’t expect too much. It was nice to have another ass kicking female on board though, not some screechy pain in the ass like in the first film.
Aliens was obviously a fantastic film and avoided being a failure of a sequel. Despite sitting away two and a half hours of your life on this, you will probably really end up enjoying it as I did.