Sunday, October 14, 2007
"My mommy always said there were no monsters - no real ones - but there are. "
We last saw Ripley bunking down, at the end of Alien (1979), with cat Jonesy, the only survivors of the destroyed cargo ship Nostromo. Fast forward nearly 60 years. Their drifting craft has been found by a salvage crew, and Jones and Ripley are revived. The Company blames Ripley for the loss of their property and suspends her pilot's license. Ripley can't sleep without vivid nightmares of the Alien. There are colonists now on the planet, terraformers with families. Burke, the sleazy company man, tells Ripley the Company has lost contact with the colonists, and eventually manipulates her into agreeing to go back to the planet as a consultant. They'll have the Colonial Marines along; what could possibly go wrong?
I love this movie so much but I couldn't quite justify 5 stars, which to me means virtually perfect. The movie has a couple of nitpicky problems I won't go into here. Aliens has a very different feel from the first movie. Aliens is a slicker movie; it is much more of an action film; we get to see lots and lots of Aliens. Compared to my recent experience re-watching Alien, the horror element doesn't survive repeat viewings as well, though the humor and action are just as enjoyable (if not more so). I find the acting entirely up to the demands of these particular roles, and I adore the characters, stereotypes and all.
I've always thought Aliens superior to Alien; watching them carefully within a week of each other, I now believe the original is the better movie- and without doubt Alien is a better horror movie than Aliens. That being said, Aliens is an absolutely kick-ass movie and remains one of my all-time favorites, period.