Saturday, May 5, 2012

Aliens - Guns, lots of guns.

In 1986 James Cameron brought us a sequel to Ridley Scott's masterpiece. Aliens starred Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen.

Let me start by saying that this is one of my favourite action films of all time. Frankly it is probably nearly everybody's favourite action film. So I will refrain from the superlatives and just make the following notes. Once again it is only the character of Ripley who seems to be thinking clearly throughout the film. Her Colonial Marine colleagues are supposed to be tough and smart and turn out to be neither. The company man is exactly what we thought he was and we get the second in our alphabet of androids "I prefer the term 'Artificial Person' myself".

There is, of course, the famous line but I was also struck by Ripley's earlier line when they first raise the idea of returning to LV-426, "I am not going back ... and I would not be any good to you if I did." Fortunatley for us and the character of Newt she is spectaculary wrong. Speaking of Newt  I decided to stick to the theatrical releases for the rest of the series so I missed the stuff about Ripley's dead daughter and Newt's family going out to investigate the alien spacecraft. But frankly those scenes are not necessary, the bond between Ripley and Newt is obvious, and the family they form with Hicks and Bishop is quite touching.

It's a terrific film. Obviously the genre has switched from horror to all out action and yes it is quite militaristic, but it is as good now as it was in 1986. James Cameron used to make great films in the 80s. Next up is skinheads in space.

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