Seven years after Alien, a young filmmaker named James Cameron came in to direct the follow-up, Aliens. Lead actress Sigourney Weaver was hesitant, worrying about how Ridley Scott wasn't returning. Thankfully, her worries were put at ease for Aliens is just as good as the first film, if not better. The film takes place 57 years after the first Alien movie. The only survivor, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been in hyper sleep for all these years. She's informed that back on LV-426, the planet the alien from the first film came from, a colony was set up and maintained. Communication with this colony has just gone down, forcing Ripley and a crew of colonial marines to travel there and see just what the hell is going on.
Aliens takes everything you love about the first film, times it by two and adds a whole new dimension to it all. Now, I am a humungous fan of the first Alien movie, as you probably gathered from my review. For a long time, Alien was the film I preferred. It wasn't actually until recently when I made a remarkable discovery. I prefer Aliens. Yep, Aliens, to me, is the superior movie. It has the suspense and the acting and the set pieces that made the first film brilliant, but it's got so much more to it as well. The first two films in this franchise are both masterpieces, but each for completely different reasons.
While I would consider Aliens to be more of an action film, there's still a tonne of suspense to be found. Aliens still has its fair share of nail biting sequences, one in particular towards the end of the film that perfectly moulds together action and horror, and it also involves a heck of a lot of xenomorphs, which is the name of the vicious aliens. There's plenty of dark and gloomy locations, just like with the first film, except it's done on a larger scale. There's more room to run, but there's also more aliens about, which I would argue is even more terrifying than fleeing from just one.
Setting the film 57 years after the events of Alien brought with it plenty of surprises. Not only has some of the film's technology vastly improved, but it means the filmmakers were able to start fresh, to a certain degree. Setting the film so far after the first film allowed time for things to blossom. There's a surprisingly emotional scene where Ripley discovers what happened to her daughter while she was away, but on top of that, these characters were able to go back to where the series all began, yet it feels almost unrecognisable. There's a colony, there's oxygen, there's more aliens and there's a lot of kicking ass. Alien ass.
It's the colonial marines that are this film's biggest new asset. While the large crew makes it obvious that some are just there to be viciously slaughtered, the ones that we focus in on are the ones we care for. There's a handful of marines that take more of a prominent role than some of the others. While all the marines have their own badass moment or two, the more important ones constantly steal the show. For good or bad reasons, well, you'll see.
To sum up, Aliens takes everything you love about the first film, times it by two and adds a whole new dimension to everything. It's got its fair share of action and ass kicking, but it does so without loosing any of the much needed suspense.