Sunday, September 13, 2009

Aliens (1986)

TOP 100 FILMS: #91

Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) awakens to find she has been cryogenically frozen in space for nearly 50 years, and all of her loved ones are now dead. With little to do, Ripley is commissioned to return to LV-426 with a group of marines, after communication is lost with the local colony. But as they arrive, they soon find themselves right in the middle of an Alien nesting ground.

After Terminator made Cameron a legend, the Hollywood community watched in dire anticipation of what his followup would be. A sci-fi sequel to 1979 masterpiece, Cameron designed a film that is not only the mother to the modern sequel, but the mother film to the modern action film. A single story, simple, with intertwined scenes of intensity and massive action, Aliens is perhaps the godfather to the genre, with great characters, writing, a science fiction fan's dream.

Bringing back small players Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, and star Michael Biehn from Terminator, Cameron launched their careers into the realm of sci-fi legend, while also opening up the career of Paul Reiser. At the same time Cameron continues his trek of films involving women expanding into kick-ass machines (pardon the language) from hard working every day people. Something the horror industry has adopted ad nauseum.

Overall though Aliens is as influential as it's predecessor, and one of the few cases where a director knew exactly what to do with a sequel, a talent Cameron has shown in both instances of his career (the other being Terminator 2). While fans of the first may not like the action packed sequel, especially some of what it has inspired today, but Aliens is the ride of a lifetime, everything a sci-fi can could want, and more.

In the end, you just HAVE to watch Aliens if you love action films in any way, shape, or form. You can never go wrong with Alien or Aliens, which is exactly why both are in my top 100 (Alien = #49).

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