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Film Review

Aliens (1986) directed by James Cameron is the vivid example of the science fiction movie. It also has the features of a good horror story as well as dramatic visual effects. Despite the evident aim to create the sequel to 1979 Alien, Cameron highlights the themes of relationships between people and portrays corporate business. The paper discusses the most striking aspects of the movie style and analyzes the major themes presented in Cameron’s work.

Ellen Ripley is the protagonist who is rescued by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation after drifting in space for a long time. Nobody believes that her ship was destroyed by aliens. She discovers that the exomoon LV-426, where her crew found the alien eggs, is currently the colony named Hadley’s Hope (Keller 55). However, when the contact with a terraforming colony is lost, the representative of the corporation asks her to go with the Colonial Marines to investigate the situation on the planet. After arrival in Hadley’s Hope, marines discover an empty colony and the signs of the struggle. Ripley wants to convince the crew that inhabitants were killed by aliens but still nobody believes her until soldiers discover the bodies of the people and a little girl who amazingly survived the attack. Consequently, the war against the hostile and danger alien species begins.


The 1986 sequel is highly intense and impressive on the contrary to the original work of Ridley Scott. Without doubt, Cameron concentrates more on the combat scenes when people encounter unfriendly aliens. In fact, the creatures appear so frequently that one could forget about the mission of the Sulaco. The director took the basic elements from Scott’s Alien (1979) and developed them to show the bravery of the people in the unpredictable situations (Keller 61). The cruel war, where people do not have many chances to win, is the determinative point of the movie style. Unlike Scott who focuses on the gothic mood of his work, Cameron shows his obsession with the image of extraterrestrial creatures. Hence, almost all scenes of the movie are full of cruelty, demonstration of the firepower, and supremacy of the monster over the humans. Even though it gives the powerful depiction of violence, Aliens remains a thought-provoking film that captures the mood of intense warfare and presents the bravery of the characters.

Despite the scary and cruel moments, Aliens delivers the philosophical and allegorical messages. For example, the director shows the equipment of the marines, creates their appearance, defines their actions, and includes hopeless situations to remind about the Vietnam War, where the American soldiers also encountered cruel and relentless enemy – the Viet Cong. Therefore, Cameron obviously managed to create one of the movies which correspond to the damages of war and were extremely popular in the 1980s (Keller 64). Additionally, the film discusses the philosophical image of the strong women. For example, Ripley is an intelligent and serious female character. She faces an extremely hostile life form and makes a huge effort to survive. Simultaneously, the spectators feel compassion for the character of Sigourney Weaver, a fragile woman who survived the horrible nightmare. Due to the fact that Aliens is the sequel, the viewer might be familiar with Ripley and her fears. However, Cameron develops her image and makes her fearless and confident woman who does not cry and panic anymore. She knows how to fight the facehugger, the parasite who sucks to the human face, and the chestburster, its offspring (Keller 66). The characteristics of the corporate business relations are also depicted. For instance, Burke, the representative of Weyland-Yutani, wants to make financial gain from the samples of the aliens. Being truly honest, Ripley responds to his intention with a doubt because she is not sure who are aliens. In fact, the inhabitants of Calpamos will never kill one another for money.

Aliens is not an ordinary movie. It intrigues and inspires with a compelling story.. Having been created as the high-quality sequel, it slightly changes the initial story incorporating additional combat scenes. Due to the intensity of the scenes, the viewer is able to experience the efforts of the humans to fight the hostile monsters. Besides, Cameron is good at keeping the attention of the spectator and stirring strong emotions with the help of the main characters and storyline. Therefore, the fans of the horror and science fiction movies will enjoy watching this gripping story.

Aliens is the science fiction masterpiece which tells the history of Ellen Ripley. The sequel is highly intense and impressive on the contrary to the original work of Ridley Scott. Despite the cruel moments, the picture of the movie delivers the philosophical and allegorical messages. Therefore, the movie is worth seeing because it is an outstanding example of the film that focuses not only on the war between humans and aliens but also on the relations between humans in the real world.

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