ALIENS has, by many, considered to be one of the rare sequels that’s better than the original. It has also been considered to be more action-driven than the horror driven predecessor. Since I decided to watch both for the first time, back to back, I came to three realizations. 1) Parts 3 and 4 and the spinoffs don’t exist as far as I’m concerned. 2) Any sexist ass who thinks women can’t kick butt should watch this movie. 3) This is probably James Cameron’s best movie (sorry Avatar fans).
ALIENS is the perfect example of the perfect sequel. It took everything that made the standout original great and expanded upon it. While the original film was driven by suspense, this sequel is driven by adrenaline. The film’s universe is expanded upon. The ignorance behind the organization’s values are on display and Sigourney Weaver becomes to the ALIEN universe what Anthony Perkins became to the PSYCHO universe. She was fully engaged in Ripley and gave more than a performance. She was Ripley. She was focused, sharp and tough. Lance Henrickson also did a standout job as Bishop, the non-deceptive successor to the original’s Ash. The action in the movie was top-notch. It took everything that made the original strong and pumped steroids in it while giving the film its own identity. It took a chance by distinguishing itself from the original. No one will ever accuse ALIENS of being a carbon copy of ALIEN. Ripley’s stakes were higher as she was also protecting a young girl, Newt, from the queen B alien. This storyline gave Sigourney Weaver more meat to chew on as an incredible actress in an action film. The special effects were incredible as I kept thinking “this is before the days of CGI.” They were also nominated for an Oscar.
The movie was a little long, and a few scenes could’ve been eliminated or cut all together. Having said that, I really have no major complaints.
ALIENS is just as good, if not better, as it’s predecessor which is a rare thing to say about a sequel. The suspense of the first film was replaced by action and a more driven Ripley. Knowing what atrocity awaits in the future for the ALIEN saga (Prometheus not included) I would’ve felt better if this was the last film. It’s a classic good guy(gal) versus bad guy(queen bitch) story.
***1/2 out of 4
Due to the adrenaline nature of the movie, I’d say red bull and vodka. Add a lime wedge if you’re hungry.