Aliens is a 1986 sci-fi action thriller.
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Hendrickson, Paul Raiser and William Hope.
*Recorded unknown species: Eggs, Facehugger, Chestbuster, Adult Xenomorph and Queen.*
After surviving her first encounter with the Alien, Ellen Ripley is discovered by a Weyland sentry over 50 years in the future in her deep sleep. During this time, the same planet where the encounter first occurred as been colonized as a mining facility, but secretly to discovered the same creature and bring it back for the biotech scientists. A group of space marines are recruited to quarantine the area, until they are outmatched. Between Aliens and Alien Resurrection, it's safe to say that Ellen Ripley is an immortal human. She slept through over 50 years in cryogenics and resurrected 200 years later. Who would have guessed that in a span of almost 20 years, the character would have to endure so much. Regardless, Sigourney Weaver made a statement being Sci-Fi's toughest female or any other genre if you wish to compare.
A direct sequel to the revolution that was Alien, the successful sci-fi horror classic evolved from scary thriller to scary-terror-action packed phenomena, thus later being classified by today's standards as the very best in the Alien quadrilogy. And who better to make it such a critical success than the man who created one of Sci-Fi's greatest treasures: Terminator. That's right, we have James Cameron to thank for the next stage of this franchise. While Aliens came shortly after Terminator, Cameron was basically a no body back in the late 70's to mid 80's. His first real project was Piranhas: The Spawning. Remember? Flying flesh-eating fish? That's the one. And then his nightmares gave birth to Terminator of which the screenplay he sold for only a dollar that later made his mark to the success he is today. But these other movies are a review story for another time.
But yes, if it weren't' for the success of Terminator and his convincing 90 paged draft, Aliens was born. Cameron's plan was to create an entirely new story focused on terror rather than horror. The story and screenplay are both excellent. The man can write a good script if he really wanted to. Let's not forget the famous one liner from Sigourney Weaver's Ripley "Get away from her you BITCH!" He was also considered to be too inexperienced around production with the UK crew, who valued Scott more than the new kid in town, without yet experiencing Terminator overseas. Cameron demands the best, and is known to be a serious worker on anything he gets his hands on. Interestingly, the story for Aliens is related to the Vietnam War. I only came to this conclusion a few years ago when watching the movie with my dad when he made the reference before. Americans with their superior technology in weapons and intelligence gathering, finding themselves at war with an enemy that went farther from their expectations, causing them to loose, PERIOD.
Like many directors, some often recast their favorite actors in many of their films. In this case, we get Michael Biehn and Lance Hendrickson. Cameron wanted a actors to portray purebred American soldiers, where Michael and Paxton enter the game. And there is room for character development, especially for Sigourney Weaver's character. Paxton's over the top nervous-scared-as-shit character was a comedy-induced delight. Weaver was nominated for an Academy Award, as well as the film being nominated for sixe more in the visual, editing and sound department. It won 2. Visually, the movie is a masterpiece. Special effects and CGI aside, the practical and costumes are what made this movie a wonderful trip. Hundreds of costumes were made for the Xenomorphs, the creator of the creature was asked to design a new creature, later known as the Queen (we can thank Cameron for that). It expands on the biology and mythology of the Alien: it is a design by nature meant only to procreate with hosts who's genetic code fits their survival requirements. The sets felt so lifelike and the work that went into creating the Alien Queen was spectacular. I still is when you consider focusing on just the costume design. Hard to imagine this all cost 18 million to make, with one million in Weaver's contract.
A critical success and a leap in various career, Cameron brought to life the next stage in the Alien saga. It is the best in the series, but wouldn't exist if it weren't for it's predecessor.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.