‘Alien’ is considered one of best science-fiction horror film. And rightly so. But its sequel ‘Aliens’ is better in my opinion.
I was recently watching the two movies back to back and was pleasenly surprised how the two movies gel together. The two movies easily feel parts of one long story. I think the reason for this is the sequel.
The second film not only continues the story of the first, but it builds on it new story elements and new characters. In my opinion its a perfect sequel.
The premise of the ‘Aliens’ itself is attention grabbing for anyone who has seen and loved ‘Alien’.
The planet from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?
That’s the a perfect way to grab attention. But the premise alone doesn’t make a movie great.
The rescue mission is used as a reason to get Ripley, the last survivor of the alien attack of the first movie and only one who has the expirience with the aliens, back on the doomed planet. But the way it is depicted in the movie, Ripley’s fifty seven years hypersleep, the company’s disbelief with Ripley’s story, Ripley’s nightmares…. All of it is handled perfectly. The credit here goes to James cameron’s treatment of the movie.
Once Ripley’s on her way back to the planet, she meets the rescue team of marines, which is a self proclaimed badass military unit. She also learns that a synthetic person, I.e. a robot ‘Bishop’ is onboard with them, and she immediately distrusts him due to her prior expiriences. The miliary disregard for Ripley’s story ends tragically as they are encountered and assaulted by the aliens.
The events result in the situation where Ripley, the rescue team and a kid named Newt are trapped in the colony complex, which they have to defend from the aliens. This are my favourite moments as the the group plans the defense with whatever weapons they have. Newt’s cute ‘affirmative’ is well, cute.
When eventually the aliens do break into the complex, we get perhaps the most suspenseful scene in the movie involving the motion scanners.
The whole climax scene as Ripley goes back into the complex which Is set to self-destruct to save Newt… suspense, just pure suspense. The movie does that really well. The horror and sci-fi elements from first film are retained in the second. But the movie also adds much more suspense and action. The climactic battle of the loader vs the alien is simply epic. At the end when Newt calls Ripley her mother, that’s a really heart-touching moment. Which I think is kinda James Cameron speciality. Remember Arnold’s ‘I now know why you cry but it is something that I can never do.’ and the ‘Thumbs up’ at the end of ‘Terminator 2 : Judgenent day’?
The movie ends as the survivors Ripley, Newt, Bishop and Hicks go to hypersleep and we are glad they could make it. Too bad the subsequent sequel couldn’t do what ‘Aliens’ did. Lets see how Neil Bloomkamp’s attempt at the coutinue the story of Ripley…if the movie gets made…
• James Cameron by chance came to know that they are making a sequal to ‘Alien’ and he asked the producers for a chance. He wrote some 90 page treatment which the producers loved.
• The studio did unthinkable when they decided to wait for James Cameron who went to shoot ‘Terminator’ as They had loved what Cameron had written in his incomplete treatment.
• James cameron faced resistance from the crew while shooting the movie in United kingdom. The crew thought less of James Cameron who was unknown to them as ‘Terminator’ wasn’t released there yet.
• Due to troubled production, there was no time for test audience sceenings which was a practice at that time and the movie was released directly.
• James Cameron was inspired by The Vietnam War in depicting the battle between The marines and the aliens.
• Arnold’s agent played a important role in getting Sigourney Weaver back as Ripley. Weaver, first hesitant to return, signed the contract immediately after James Cameron threw a false rumour at Arnold’s agent that he was writing a script without the character of Ripley. This rumour then went to Weaver’s agent and Weaver signed the contract immediately.
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