Aliens takes place immediately after the events of Alien (1979), so you should start with that one.
Aliens is set 57 years later, in which Ripley is found by a salvage team. Ripley has been in hyper sleep since the events of the first movie. She returns to Earth and learns that the planet where they found the eggs in the first film has been colonized, but they have lost contact with the civilization. Ripley is sent with a team to investigate.
Aliens is much more of an action movie than Alien. This probably comes from the fact that this film had a different director/writer than the original. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because it is a worthy sequel. It makes sense, because Alien really sets up what the creature is and they couldn’t have really replicated the same sense of fear in this film as they did in the first without it feeling like a copy/paste of Alien. I was really happy to see some good horror elements in a film that seemed like more of an action movie. Granted, some of them were jump scares but they still worked in some of the same suspense and fear conveyance that was there in Alien. Aliens is a great movie, but I do prefer Alien.
Most of the CGI in this movie sucked. I say most because some of the CGI on the Xenomorphs was pretty good. They had a nice mix of CGI and practical effects used on them as well. The rest of the CGI was bad, the most memorable examples was the clouds when they entered the atmosphere of the planet and the lightening at the end.
The fact that Ripley would ever go back to the place the Xenomorphs (I will be referring to them as aliens for the rest of this post) came from, even if it was to eradicate them, blew my mind. Sure, she had a whole squadron of mostly forgettable characters to back her up, but just one of those things killed her entire team in the first film. That alone is just reckless.
When they were investigating the space colony and all of the blips showed up on the radar, I was really hoping for a room full of people with facehuggers just hanging out. Get it hanging out? I may not have got that, but the people strung up on the walls was good enough for me. It was creepy and I definitely didn’t expect it.
The movie does a good job at making you hate Burke. He was scum and a coward. Granted, he had similar motives compared to Ash in the first movie, but he seemed like a worse person. He was there to bring back alien embryo for the money, Ash was sent specifically to get test subjects and his orders happened to mention that the crew was expendable. The way he runs and hides when the aliens attack really set my disliking for him at the highest it could get. He was only making sure he was the one that survived even though he was unarmed. I was excited to see him open a door to find a bloodthirsty monster waiting for him.
The characters that didn’t die in the first fight were pretty good. Vasquez was awesome. A jacked little lady with a giant gun was really cool to me. She was fearless. Probably my favorite supporting character. I may be remembering this wrong, but Hudson talking about how badass the squad was then being the first to really give up was a good character trait to me. It really showed that he was kind of cowardly too. “Game over, man!” will be ingrained into my mind forever. If it wasn’t Hudson that was talking the squad up at the beginning I apologize, but there were a lot of forgettable characters at that point and he kind of remained one of them. Hicks did a good job of making you care about him by showing how much he cares for the people around him. That’s all I really have to say about him, honestly.
I’m still stuck with the fact that all the androids in the Alien universe are filled with milk. It’s laughable to me because it’s just so weird. So far we are 2/2 on an Alien film that has an android getting torn up and spilling sticky white everywhere.
Newt was like the cat in the first film to me, I only really cared about her a little more than the cat because she was just a helpless little girl.
They do manage to make Ripley a total badass in this movie though. She gets taught how to use the pulse rifle and you’d think she would really only use it to defend herself. Little did we know that she would eventually storm the base in search of Newt with two guns taped together.
The Xenomorph queen was really cool. I did not expect anything like that to be thrown at me. She had cool design and was definitely a very good aspect of the film.
The best part BY FAR was the fight with the queen in the power loader. It took Ripley, who wouldn’t even be able to take on a regular alien by herself, and pitted her against a giant alien queen. When the door opens and it’s Ripley in a power loader I knew it was going to be amazing. The “Get away from her, you bitch!” line made my jaw drop. Ripley went from helpless in the first movie to complete badass in this movie. There’s a reason why this scene is so iconic. When I think of this movie, my mind goes directly to the loader fight.
What did you think? Leave a comment and join the discussion!