Monday, August 6, 2007
Aliens; science-fiction action, USA, 1986; D: James Cameron, S: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser
Ellen Ripley, the only survivor of the Nostromo crew, is rescued after 57 years of hibernation. But once back to conscious, she is shocked when she finds out humans started a colony on the planet where the deadly alien was found, so she proceeds to go there on a war spaceship with Colonial Marines. Once on the planet, Ripley discovers the only survivor of the colony station is a girl named Newt. The Marines go on to search for other people that survived in a nuclear processing station. They get cornered by the whole bunch of aliens and in the chaos one of them kidnaps Newt. Ripley rescues her from an alien queen and escapes before the station explodes. But the queen sneaked in into the spaceship and tears android Bishop in half, before Ripley throws her in space with her robot exosuit.
Among the sequels that top the original, "Aliens" take a special place in cinema: unlike the first film that was atmospheric, quiet and understated with only one alien, but at moments slightly grey, the second film lifts the story up a notch and presents a wild action spectacle with many aliens, yet unlike most Hollywood big budget sequels that offer more quantity than quality, "Aliens" actually also remain skillful and stylish and give the main heroine a emotional dimension, noticeable in her motherly care for the girl Newt. Thanks to a tight screenplay that gave her character more depth, Sigourney Weaver delivered a truly amazing performance as Ripley and was surprisingly (but for once rightfully) even nominated for several awards. James Cameron brilliantly directed the film, with a wonderful aesthetic mood and sharp details, creating an achievement that is at the same time a fantastic action fun for the wide audience and intelligent drama/thriller for the ambitious audience at the same time. Among the great sequences is the one where Ripley is driving an armoured military vehicle while an alien is on it, so she suddenly hits the breaks, the alien falls down on the ground and she hits the gas again and crashes with it with full force. The finale where the giant alien queen slices the android's body in half and has a duel with Ripley who is fighting her in an robot exosuit is one of those things that simply have to be seen to be believed, due to its unbelievable tone. "Aliens" is a truly well made feminist war film in space, a one that is going to please even those ambitious sci-fi fans, even though some complain that it is just simple action, thanks to passionate realization and talented writing.