Ellen Ripley after surviving her first run in with the horrific Xenomorphs returns to the perfect holiday destination, LV-426 57 years later to rescue a group of colonists trapped on the planet. This time round Ripley is accompanied by some hardcore marines and a small child, what could possibly go wrong?
Comparing Alien to Aliens is the impossible task I have set myself as these two films revolve around the same antagonist and protagonists but tackle two very different genres. Alien, as I mentioned in my previous review is heavily rooted in the horror genre whereas Aliens tackles the action genre to perfection and this is really down to the very different styles of directors. James Cameron is the man to thank for what is a near perfect sequel taking the franchise where it needed to go, we are no longer afraid of Alien on its own so the only clever thing to do is to have more of them and make them bigger. Before he nailed the Terminator sequel Cameron took on a beloved Sci-fi franchise and pulled off something spectacular not only keeping the fear for the Xenomorphs but also transmitting the dark message on humanity’s meddling with nature’s creations.
The film is without a doubt spectacular, gripping you with the intricate story line and the fast paced action knocking you from pillar to post. The character work in this film is what makes the action mean something when a seemingly expendable character genuinely affects you, the film is doing is transcending its genre and that is apparent with most of the deaths in this film. The motley crew of the marines Ripley joins supply the much needed comic relief to counter the darker more action packed film Cameron has created. Jenette Goldstein and Bill Paxton are prime examples of this comic relief supplying a shot of testosterone filled humour. The team is headed up by the genuinely fantastic Michael Biehn who you will know as the very fortunate actor who fraternized with both Ellen Ripley and Sarah Conner on the big screen. So I’ve mentioned the action and the comic relief, the only thing missing from the perfect action movie is a little bit of heart and that comes in the form of Ripley’s relationship with a young girl, Newt who they rescue on the planet. Weaver really raised the bar for Aliens showing a very different side to Ripley, it almost felt like Weaver was more comfortable in the role.
In conclusion to this review the first two aliens always split people you either love the slow burning but perfectly paced first installment or the high-octane intensity of the 2nd, either way, you are not wrong. I have always had a soft spot for the first one as it is a true testament to sci-fi filmmaking and introduced me to my favourite female protagonist of all time, Ellen Ripley. Right so that’s the easy part of these reviews done now it’s time to tackle Alien 3, wish me luck.