Aliens: Movie Review

Guest blogger Will Brownridge writes:

Just goes to show that you can’t trust the guy in a tie. – Will

After floating in space for over 50 years, Ripley is found and rescued. She also learns that the planet they found the alien on has been colonized and when communication is lost she joins a rescue team traveling to the planet.

Directed by – James Cameron

Written by – James Cameron, David Giler, Walter Hill, Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett

Starring – Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews, Mark Rolston, Ricco Ross, Colette Hiller, Daniel Kash, Cynthia Dale Scott, Tip Tipping, Trevor Steedman, Paul Maxwell

I hadn’t seen this movie in years so when my friend stopped by to hang out he suggested we put it on. How can I resist the call of Aliens, one of the best sci-fi movies ever made. What I didn’t realize is that the Special Edition that I had was over 2 and a half hours long! HAHA! My poor daughter just couldn’t make it through the movie and my girlfriend was having just about as hard a time. Even I was thinking that maybe it was going too long at one point but I was invested in the movie and I wasn’t turning it off halfway through! I have to admit that there’s a lot of set-up for the film, it’s all very interesting but it takes quite a while before an alien ever graces the screen. When they do though it’s a moment that stands out.

When that rescue crew finally gets down onto the planet and are looking for survivors and the aliens just start sliding off the walls, wow, what a creepy moment. The way the aliens literally look like the walls until you see them slowly move away is incredible. Aside from some of the bad hairstyles I wouldn’t believe this was made over 20 years ago. I also didn’t remember seeing so much of the aliens themselves. The classic creature effects always blow away the CG competition no matter how far along they advance with CG and very few films can pull off the believable kind of effects that they used to. Now I won’t even bother going into the story that much. If you haven’t seen this film then shame on you! Get out there right now and pick it up, it’s worth every penny.

While I always remember Aliens being the best of the films, I kind of wish I had started at the beginning of the series. Now that I’ve seen one I know that I’ll have to go and watch all the rest of them including the second disk of features. I guess I’ll have to have an Alien week around here sometime to pull it off. Aliens has such a great cast of memorable characters. Well, at least the ones that survive the initial conflict with the aliens. Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Sigourney Weaver, Jenette Goldstein, Paul Reiser and of course Carrie Henn as Newt are the standouts. Some of them may be cliché but they’re so very different that you remember them and that’s another thing that is lacking from films today. Now they just throw a group of characters together who are all cut from the same cloth that you just don’t remember them except for being fodder for whatever alien/slasher/monster they’re up against.

The story is pretty generic actually. It’s not hard to figure out what Paul Reiser’s character is going to do when you see that he’s the guy that works for the corporations. Someone wants to kill the alien and someone always wants to make money off of them. It never fails. What gets you through the typical story is the great acting that everyone brings to the film. Paul Reiser is the slimy bastard that you can’t wait to see get killed while you’re hoping that the rest of the crew makes it out alive. It sucks every time you see another character bite the dust and that makes for a great film.

Mama ain’t happy and Ripley is gonna have to pay for it!

While the story may not break any new ground, the aliens are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Well, at least for that time. It shows the impact the film had when you constantly notice the similarities when any other alien flick shows up. It may be hard to see the film for the first time now and think of it as groundbreaking but I remember seeing this as a kid and just being blown away. Even still the aliens are some of the most impressive on film and the queen is one massive, pissed off creature. The ending of the film is certainly a little over the top and pretty unbelievable in the grand scheme of things but who even cares. The showdown between Ripley and the queen alien is like watching Rocky fight his first match. Ripley finally becomes that badass in this movie. Originally at a loss for what to do and even having trouble handling her weapon, Ripley soon turns out to be the strongest of the bunch going so far as to face the queen in claw-to-robot combat.

It’s a great looking movie with a very strong female lead, something that I still think doesn’t happen enough. You just can’t go wrong with Aliens. I’d recommend sticking to the theatrical version if it’s your first time checking the film out but for anyone who has already enjoyed this but hasn’t seen the special edition it’s time to revisit the world of Aliens. I’ll have to start checking out the films again so look for random reviews of the Alien series over the next coming weeks. It may be a good series to check out for Halloween this year.

Under the marquee – Will

Will Brownridge is the creator and writer of The Film Reel, watching and reviewing the movies everyone wants to see and the ones that nobody wants to see! For more information visit his Facebook page at