directed by: Ridley Scott
Oof. This is a tough one. Okay, so the Alien franchise is something every child of the 80’s has just assumed was always there. The Alien character is so ubiquitous that walk up to anyone, they’ll know about the spit-double-head/mouth-shape thing. But ask them the plot of any of these movies, and you’ll by and large get mumbles. (I know I’m treading on dangerous water here for the fanboys of such a franchise, but then again, …they’re Alien fanboys.) Moving on, you have Ridley Scott. Gladiator, Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down, American Gangster (“My man”). The man has made some films. And yet, I couldn’t tell you the plot of Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, or Prometheus. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know he only directed the titular one and Prometheus. So it’ll be fascinating to do a review, watch one , review, watch, etc. Here are my preconceptions about the series:
Alien: They’re all eating and the Alien dude pops out of chest
Aliens: Paul Reiser? and Little girl. And lots of explosions. And Paul Reiser? And the little girl runs around air shafts
Alien 3: …
Alien: Resurrection: Winona Ryder. And … uh, I think I’ve seen most of this one? Like they’re all trying to get to the escape pods and an Alien crawls into one with them and they gone.
So there you have it. Let’s dive into Alien.
I enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so of this film. Loved the mood, loved the antiquated ship controls/computers, loved the darkness of it. The pacing was great too, and yet with a movie like Alien, oh man, you know it’s all about to just go to hell. As soon as they all wake up and land on this planet/asteroid thing, this … this is where the questions start. I mean I knew I was going to have some, but things got out of control in a hurry. Where did this crashed ship come from? What the hell is that alien skeleton thing? It’s obvious he’s been ‘Aliened up’ but is that like the controls to the ship or some space gun or what? How long have the eggs been there? Do they go bad? What’s with the mist/laser thing? Are there still eggs being laid? Our man in the situation, curious as he is, gets one of the hatchlings stuck on him. Through the glass of his helmet. Ouch, I guess I’ll save my questions for later, Ridley. They haul him back to the ship, and Ripley (Sigourney Weaver…duh) protests to him being brought back onboard. I’m sensing a theme building. We also begin to doubt this Ash character. I never trusted the guy in Fifth Element. No use starting now. So the dude gets his face sucked on for a while, eggs or a baby or whatever go into his stomach, and out pops an Alien. Now this makes … little sense. I mean you’ve already got the eggs. You’ve got the scorpion/hand of god thing. Why the need for more implants? Meh. Anyways good scene as mentioned above where it pops out. Then Ash, you son of a bitch, tells everyone to cool it and lets it get away. Great idea. So I’m like no biggie, he’s like a foot tall, just squash his ass before he eats or goes through puberty. Whoops, too late. 5 minutes later (literally),it sheds the skin of the foot tall creature and IS NOW A FULL GROWN ALIEN. Whooie, boy must have taking his vitamins and steroids and growth hormones. So everyone gets picked off one by one, except for the end, where my favorite character (Parker aka the villain from Live and Let Die) ends up hesitating to finish off the Alien because of the useless chick (not Ripley) in the movie. It was so heartbreaking seeing him go. Anyways, this led to more questions. We find out that a couple of the dudes haven’t been killed, but have become some sort of pod people, ala…. the pod people. Interesting. Suffice to leave it at a simple question…Why? Oh yeah, Ash was an ANDROID, womp womp, and had orders to keep the Alien alive. He also had Tauntaun innards. I was expecting one of them to just be like, “And I thought he smelled bad … on the outside”. That would have made this my favorite movie ever. Ripley ends up escaping, after offing the Alien on the shuttle, and is presumedly safe and sound on her way back to Earth. Roll credits. So why is there a sequel? …Oh yeah, all those unanswered questions. Too bad Ridley had enough for 33 years.
Okay okay, now to address the whole eroticism/rape/sexual overtones of this movie. Holy crap, at points its very subtle, but then at the end it gets to be a little ridiculous. I mean Ripley, thinking she’s safe and all, starts taking off all her clothes to prance around in her underwear, and then all the guys in the movie theater are like … ‘oh man, 2 hours of mouth rape, male impregnation, penis mouth thing with acid was really getting me down, here’s a little Sigourney time’ and then BOOM ALIEN’S BACK Y’ALL! This was probably the funniest part of the film.
Now, can someone explain to me the point of the damn cat?
Underrated Actors: Yaphet Kotto as Parker, and …eh what the hell, Ian Holm as Ash, the creepy villainous Android.