Aliens is the first ever Alien related film I saw since it came out in a period I feverishly was watching films like there was no tomorrow. Although compared to now there were much lesser films released so it was far easier to keep up. And I loved it. It had everything I wanted in a film and then some.
Now this doesn't mean I like this one better than the first. Since that one is also one I hold dear. Tonally it's more like a horror film and that easily is one of my most favourite genres. However this could imply that Aliens is not scary or thrilling which is not true. It might be more action packed and maybe has less dread it still is filled with tense moments and good buildup of suspense. But where Aliens really shines is the scale and spectacle. Where Alien mostly took place on a spaceship, Aliens goes beyond and show us a lot more of the universe the xenomorph and humans live in. This time around the xenomorph is not alone and Ripley and co are outnumbered and that alone is quite terrifying especially if you remember (from Alien) how much damage one of those creatures could do.
This is also the film that introduced us to the toughest and meanest soldiers in the whole wide universe, the colonial marines. Director James Cameron wanted to critique the attitude and so called superior American fire power in relation to the Vietnam war.
"Their training and technology are inappropriate for the specifics, and that can be seen as analogous to the inability of superior American firepower to conquer the unseen enemy in Vietnam: a lot of firepower and very little wisdom, and it didn't work."
This critique is very relevant today and thus gives this film an extra flavour that makes this sci fi flick more than just a monster movie. But make no mistake this is very much a monster movie where death is more rule than exception. And a very glorious one since the alien creatures not only have increased in numbers they also are more fiercer and ruthless. Even more than in the first one? Yes, Don't know about you but secretly I am loving the xenomorphs and their no nonsense lifestyle. It's to kill or be killed and everyone else is dinner. So delicious. Still that did not stop me rooting for Ripley who has more balls than all of the colonial marines combined and is the only one to put up a decent fight against those damn parasites. Best of all is the fact that Ripley is only human and not some perfect super powered Mary Sue like Rey in The Force Awakens. Yeah, I went there. Bring it on feminists. Make my day. But seriously. This is how you should write a character. I am not rooting for her because she is a woman. But because she is a well rounded character that has earned my respect and sympathy because of her actions. I would do the same had the lead been a guy.
Aliens is a film I have watched many times and remains good no matter how often you watch it. It's filled with many memorable moments and best of all it's a film with the most beautiful practical effects. How anyone can prefer CGI over those is beyond me. So without a doubt Aliens is a true classic. Anyone who denies that doesn't know what he or she is talking about. (When you come across those people send them to me. I will set them straight.)