Aliens ★★★½

Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!

Not nearly as good as the first iteration, but the climactic final thirty minutes is filled with legendary stuff even if it has too many endings, whether it be Sigourney Weaver in the transformer, the alien cocoon contraption, or Bishop's fate.

When it comes down to it, just don't think I connected with this one as much because it falls prey to many of the genre cliches and plot contrivances that Ridley Scott's version avoids; the child as living McGuffin to motivate Ripley, a female lead; the overbearing score; has the exact same ending; what happened to gunfire causing a thermonuclear explosion; in reality, their acid blood will literally spew all over you all the time; the aliens now how to work elevators?

To put it simply, nothing can really quite match seeing the alien popping out of John Hurt's chest in the first movie. This is just lots of aliens everywhere and while it is intense, nothing quite has that shock factor. Also, the fact that it's military vs. regular people makes it a bit less interesting as the characters are much less developed and more "tough guy with gun." And the CGI/fake planet doesn't look nearly as good or "realistic" as the first movie.

Weaver is absolutely iconic in this, obviously, but not just in the final hour. The dread in her face is perfection, so much so that I can't believe she would agree to go back. There's a moment when someone touches her shoulder and she convulses and I've never identified with a cinematic moment more. Gotta say Bill Paxton is throwing 200 mile-per-hour fastballs for like 90 minutes. The energy he is bringing here is incredible, reminiscent of Philip Seymour Hoffman in TWISTER.

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