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“Aliens” Movie Critical Essay

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Updated: Jul 10th, 2019

“Aliens” is an upshot of the movie Alien that was produced and released in 1986. This outstanding work of Cameron has been faced with critical comments since its release. A very high status had already been set by the precedent movie Alien produced and directed by Scott.

The status attached to this series has broken a record that almost all directors have not been able to hit. Virtually, all producers and directors trying to follow the lead set by this movie have found themselves resigning to the levels of patchiness among critics. Even “Alien 3,” a film by Fincher went through a hard time trying to compete with the Aliens.

The contributors to the success of the film Aliens are seemingly obvious, meaning that, the groundbreaking and fast-paced action. This fast-paced action further helps to portray the movie’s theme in the desired way. These aspects offered the movie a visceral immediacy that was very notable to the dark and worrying, but lethargically paced, description of the first movie.

Conversely, the original version of the film was considered by many film analysts to be artistically superior. The Aliens is a fascinating and unique film. However, many audiences and analysts have not regarded it as a very good upshot. The reactions to this critical sentiment would result to emergence of endless critical debates about the film today (Kaplan, 2000). However, despite the debates, the quality of the acting has remained as one of the best during the time of acting.

The visceral distinctions between the two movies are obvious. When developing his movie, Scott employs varying sound techniques to influence the emotional faculties of his viewers. Most of the plot development revolves around matters of human reproduction. These components in the film were very unique and authentic in the Alien.

They are as vital to the success of the film as the persuading visual structures and plot. In Alien, these psychological aspects are not present. Furthermore, the film has very little suspense in that, predicting the next scene is very easy and this makes the film boring. This makes a viewer to judge Cameron as a less sophisticated movie producer or director (Butler, 2004).

The action scenes in the Aliens suggested that fascination with sophisticated guns and stylistic warfare depicted by Cameron were analogous to the shooting scale enthusiast who gathers military paraphernalia. This is facilitated by macho fantasy and perhaps an overt fascist ideology.

From a thematic point of view, the two films are almost alike. In Alien, the action is far less aggressive than in the Aliens. As the movie ends, viewers are treated to a bizarre scene characterised by file pictures of the effects of warfare on humans. This is evidence enough that Cameron has a serene and possibly naive philosophical orientation (Adair, 2001).

Both films have a special way that they use to represent violence and war. It is notable that violence and war as depicted in the films is not human against human, but rather man versus automated structures.

In a nutshell, in these movies, violence is inter-species. This theme could have been informed by varying factors such as continued armed conflicts in various parts of the world. The most practical war that could have led to this dominant theme is most probably the war in Vietnam. Indirectly, the films seem to depict war among human beings as primitive as war should be restricted to human versus the aliens.

The end of Vietnam War was just 10 years before Aliens was produced. Many people speculate that news coverage of the Vietnam War may have been the main drive in the production of Cameron’s political ideologies during his youth.

Whatever may have caused his fascination with violence, Cameron’s ideas on the topic seems to be essentially duo at the time he released Aliens. Even the well-intended people must maintain the potential for violence, even if they don’t use it. However, Cameron has used a different framework in the film Aliens.

In a later scene, the aliens put off the power to the med-lab before initializing their own retaliatory attack against the humans. In this scene, Hudson who is the most aggressive of the marine soldiers develops cowardice signs when he is faced with a foe that is, his equivalent. In another scene, the queen alien indicates an elementary knowledge of the weaponry intimidation from Ripley, and she succeeds in using an elevator.

This can be interpreted as a fight between known forces and unknown forces of the world. The movie tries to show the immense dangers that man may still face despite the sophistication in weaponry muscle. This means that although the human population may have conquered many human enemies through possession of weapons, there are still threats that the human populace is yet to tackle.

Alien has a bleak thematic plot. It presents a vision of human race as a weak, helpless and hopeless biological mishap in an inexorable hostile world. The film did not provide any other hope to the audience than a figurative retreat of the main actor to the secure salvation of tense sleep.

The film successfully wins perfect triumph in the horror category. Even if Cameron repeated the content used by Scott in his film, there would be no significant implication. He takes the storyline forward into a new locale, but most significantly he develops the psychological topics and key characters of the original movie and develops them in a persuading and valuable new direction.

In a nutshell, “Alien” was a narrative of psychological ordeal, a first act. “Aliens” is a tale of recuperation and empowerment, which is essentially a progression from the first act (Jung, 1995).

At the beginning of the film, Aliens Ripley’s living dread of the alien beings is determined to haunt her throughout her life. The conditions and occurrences of the rest of the movie all lead to a single bearing. This is the harmless confrontation between Ripley and her own dread.

With fear, Ripley vacillates before entering the building where a multitude of alien creatures have conquered human oppressors. She views an oppressor die in anguish through a com-link to a camera on a helmet. In one scene, we see how Ripley gains courage after the first war ensues.

This battle is led by a bugling general and Ripley takes the advantage and assumes her own rescue mission. At this juncture, her involvement in the mission is frightened and focused on run off rather than hit. After discovering that she is captured in the universe with a group of grunts, she occupies the position of an organizer (Foucault, 1970). In this position she tries to use the available resources in a creative manner to calm delirious soldiers who are taking charge themselves.

The team working with Ripley are killed one after the other. This is analogous to what was in the original film. However, instead of withdrawing in terror, Ripley charges into the alien body using her teeth. At this scene, she confronts a situation she fears most.

Just as in the original film, she finds out a maze of paths, transfixing a flamethrower for safety and running against time to prevent a nuclear detonation. Not only does she eliminate a number of aliens, but she also confronts a much bigger and more superior version of the being that distressed her in the original movie. She faces the queen alien and detonates her children to particles.

In addition to working against aliens, Ripley uses her physical strength and ability to make her efforts important and dismantle the ice with the soldiers and ultimately she becomes their commander. The most victorious of her ventures is her new role in the society (Izod, 1992).

The loss of her child and mother, makes Ripley adopt a new child. The new child is almost the same age as the deceased one when they were separated by death. Integrated to this is an aspect of self-identity. Both are aware that these minute companions are not true forms of protection (Lauretis, 1984).

Due to fear of aliens, the two sleep under the bed. When Ripley charges into the alien’s chest to rescue her child, she indeed helps herself. A profound indication of this framework is that the original Alien movie ended with Ripley’s tense sleep. In Cameron’s movie, the framework is similar as Newt also ends up in intense sleep. Both movies end with the two main actors’ heads tilted at the same angle. This is a perspective that makes both characters an identical size (Kristeva, 2006).

As well as filling the void that was created after her daughter’s death, Ripley discovers something that was not available in the original movie. This is a man that she falls in love with. Though the viewer does not see a fully fledged sexual encounter between Ripley and her male counterpart, its potential is obviously implied. One can remember when Hicks is instructing Ripley on how to operate a loaded gun (Mclntee, 2005).

At times they crack jokes. Among the reason why this sexual concern is vital to Ripley is because of the sexual threats she gets from the monster in the original film. By fascinating coincidence there was no open sexual connection between the two in the original movie (Berg, 1996). However, there is a script where Ripley engages in sexual encounters with Captain Dallas. Finding a trustable love partner is fundamental to Ripley’s revitalization in the film Aliens.

Use of guns, not to mention other modern weapons of war to symbolise, dominance power and threat has remained a preserve of all action movies, and Aliens is not an exception. The actor Vasques is a restrained role-model for Ripley on this matter. Though she is a woman, she holds the strongest gun and is the most aggressive and courageous in war. She is seen physically fighting the monsters while she shoots with a pistol. This is in a way a forerunner to Ripley’s own fighting of the queen monster.

Ripley’s intention to share her experiences concerning her original film is interrupted by Vasques. By the time the film is ending, Ripley has overcome her panics and fears and can now talk to anyone. In correspondence with Vasques’ employment of monster guns, Ripley models her own big gun by fixing a flamethrower and throb rifle together (Donald, 1990).

Another act of overcoming dread and panic for Ripley is her disbelief in androids (McIntee, 2005). He desires the monster because it lacks human aspects, which adds to the movie’s bleak proposal that humans and all their beliefs is nothing compared to the tremendous harshness the universe offers. In an incremental way he gains Ripley’s trust. This makes her even risk the life of her lover during the suicide mission into the monster home (Butler, 1990).

In Alien, the cool sacrifice and manipulation of the Nostromo group by the corporation was virtually a match for the dismay of the monster itself (Hamashima, 2009). In Aliens, in an unsuccessful manner Ripley faces off with the lords of the company, but later she outfoxes Burke.

However, Burke is eventually crashed by the monster while trying to do business out of it. Finally, something else that is not present in Ripley’s life in the original film is humour. The only place where humour is evidenced is when banter jokes with Brett. In Aliens, this is offered by Hudson. Ripley may be overly not entertained, but the audiences are (Ximena & Jason, 2007).

At the height of both viewer contribution and main actor progress, Alien is an incapacitating antidote to the frustrating horror and hopelessness of Alien. Topics and occurrences from the originals movie are changed and relived in a typical development. Ripley’s elevator enters into the monster lair, as she equips herself with ammunitions, guns and explosives. She is also accompanied by throbbing fighting drum score (Foster, 2003).

This is among the most hyper images of human incapacitation in the chronology of cinema. Hyper-sleep that was repeated at the end of both films, and this scene sums up the psychological and emotional change. In the original movie, the end is characterized by surrender from dread while the other one is characterized by a peaceful ending where the main success is conquering.

The second film therefore tends to show that war cannot be always the means to the end, but it can be used to bring some sort of stability where circumstances forces. Therefore, the two films are alike, but teach different things.

In conclusion, it is worth to note that the two movies have a direct way of influencing the human cognitive and its views on war. Both films are developed with a clear view of depicting issues associated with war to the human mind. The two films are also influenced by the surrounding happenings in the sense that they are informed by what human mind pursues.

They depict the insatiable passion among the human population to explore beyond earth and also to control resources on earth. Due to this pursuit, human beings are faced with series of unending wars. It can also be argued that the movies may carry a premonition of the dangers that may face humanity should innovation and exploration not be effectively controlled.

Reference List

Adair, G., H. 2001. Vietnam: from the Green berets to Apocalypse now. Proteus Books Press: New York.

Berg, R. 1996. Losing Vietnam: Covering the war in an age of technology. Culture Critique. 3(1), p. 92-125.

Butler, J. 1990. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge: New York.

Butler, J. 2004. Undoing Gender. Routledge: New York.

Donald, J. 1990. Psychoanalysis and Cultural Theory: Thresholds. Macmillan: London.

Foster, H. 2003. Compulsive Beauty. MIT Press: London.

Foucault, M. 1970. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. Tavistock: London.

Hamashima, L. 2009. Monsters Vs Aliens ā Movie Storybook. HarperCollins Publishers Limited. New York.

Izod, J. 1992. The Films of Nicholas Roeg: Myth and Mind. St Martin’s Press: London.

Jung, C., G. 1995. Memories, dreams, reflections. Vintage: New York.

Kaplan, E., A. 2000. Psychoanalysis and the Cinema. Routledge: New York.

Kristeva, J. 2006. Powers of Horror: An Essay in Abjection. Columbia University Press: New York.

Lauretis, T. 1984. Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema. Indiana University Press. Bloomington.

McIntee, D. 2005. Beautiful Monsters: The Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to the Alien and Predator Films. : .

and Jason, S. 2007. Alien Woman: The Making of Lt. Ellen Ripley. Greenwood: London.

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