Well, it grabs me anyway.
I think this is a very very underrated film. It’s seen as a shoot’em’up in space, but it is much more complicated than that.
Let’s get the action out of the way first. Yes, it’s a shoot’em’up. But it’s better than that. When Ripley gets tooled up to go and rescue the little girl Newt, you can see things can only go very violent. It’s all going to get very noisy indeed. You can see she is shit scared, but she is not backing down. Nosirreebob. She is in for the long haul. She is going to blow that motherfucker out of the doors. ‘Get away from her you BITCH!’ is one of the great lines in modern cinema. She is not fucking about here.
There are some neat subplots. I’ve always identified with Drake, the thicko. But alongside him you get Vasquez, the kickass female Marine. There is clearly something going on between Drake and her. You know it, I know it, it’s happening, but it’s never explicit, it’s all covert. The military camaraderie is hiding something. You know it’s more than that. When they get kitted up, you know damned well they will die for each other if need be.
The guy I do most identify with is Michael Biehn’s Hicks. I’ve used this as a subterfuge in a couple of stories/novels. Hicks is as cool as you get.
It’s a very complex film this. Vasquez/Gorman? How is that working? Bill Paxton’s Hudson? Spunkmeier (yes, really)? It goes on and on.
And it just looks terrific