Nerd’s Eye View: An Alien Movie Review

Yep.  He looks at her, sweats drop of milk, then proceeds to enact one of the most EPIC fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie.  Let me give you a play by play so you can fully appreciate its awesomeness (and try to imagine the Mortal Kombat music playing as I describe this).

Ash pulls Ripley’s hair.  She falls to the floor and starts crawling in a circle around the room.  He grabs her by her belt and slings her into a wall.  Winner:  Ash!  Then, as if Tsang Sung was yelling “Finish Her!”  Ash proceeds with his most devastating attack: he throws her on a bench, rolls up a magazine and proceeds to jam it against her closed mouth!

The blood and gore would surely have painted the walls if ABM and Not-Ripley hadn’t showed up to save the day, him by having Ash give him a titty twister, and her by using her signature move of doing nothing.  That being said, they do handle business after that.  Angry Black Mechanic hits Ash with a fire extinguisher and knocks his block off, literally.  However, since Ash is apparently an android (and androids sweat milk for some reason), that doesn’t stop him.  Head flopping around and milk spilling everywhere, Ash continues fighting until Not-Ripley shocks him with the cattle prod from earlier (way to finally step up Not-Ripley).

Ripley wants to ask Ash questions so they plug his head into a wall socket and have at it.  She asks questions she already has the answers to and he gives answers she already knew so a good time is had by all.  She then asks how they can kill the alien, and his reply is that they can’t (the other movies in the franchise would disagree with that, but whatever).  He tells them it is physically perfect and perfectly hostile with no morals and no desires beyond survival.  Ripley decides they will blow up the ship and escape in the shuttle while ABM uses the flamethrower to burn Ash to…ash (couldn’t resist).

So the ship has a ten minute countdown and the shuttle needs to be prepped and filled with coolant.  That’s right, the EMERGENCY shuttle doesn’t have the necessary fluids to take off.  If you didn’t realize by now, the Company doesn’t give a F@CK about its employees.  So not much has changed in the future.

Ripley tells ABM and Not-Ripley that she will get the shuttle ready while giving them seven minutes to get what they need before starting the countdown (so much for sticking together).  So while the other two are getting the coolant, she preps the shuttle.  Then, she hears a noise.  It’s the cat.  Following the meows, Ripley, our heroine, instead of starting the countdown to destroy the hostile life form that has been terrorizing them for the past hour, starts looking for the cat. The CAT.  Let that sink in a moment.  I’ll wait.

So, do you know what happens to the other two while our protagonist is looking for a cat?  The alien kills them.  Big shock, right?  Yeah, the alien seems to find Not-Ripley attractive and is coming on to her (as only a gentleman can).

Angry-black-mechanic tells her to move so he can attack it.  And what does she do?  Not-Ripley uses special attack “Nothing” against Alien.  It’s not very effective.  Not wanting to burn her, ABM attacks the alien with his bare hands to give her a chance to escape.

“Naturally, she tries to attack the alien while it’s distracted, right?


“Then she honors his sacrifice and escapes to safety with Ripley?”

Wrong again.

“Don’t tell me she…”

Not-Ripley uses special attack “Nothing” against Alien.  It’s still not very effective.  So, for risking his life for her instead of abandoning her, ABM gets a skull full of alien little mouth.  While all this is happening, Ripley found the damn cat and placed it in its carrier just in time to hear her shipmates being killed.  She actually tries to reach them to help, all the while hearing strange noises from the alien and screams from Not-Ripley.  When she reaches them, the alien is gone, the others are dead, and Not-Ripley’s pants are off.  You don’t want to know why, but the Alien did seem to be doing something with its tail prior to her death.

The only survivor, other than the cat, Ripley immediately starts the countdown (which looks pretty similar to the Voltron Force activating their lions, actually).  The computer starts talking, saying that she has five minutes to reverse the countdown, but of course she won’t need that, right?  Everything taken care of, Ripley and cat make their way to the shuttle.  And who should be there waiting for her?  The alien.  It pops up like a jack-in-the-box and Ripley drops that cat quick then proceeds to run the other way.  Who could have predicted that all that time spent looking for the cat was pointless?  Oh yeah.  Everybody!

Anyway, Ripley, believing she might have to stay alive longer than ten minutes, tries to turn off the self destruct and fails by five seconds.  Despite the computer telling her it’s too late, she yells at it to end the countdown (NOW someone wants to use Siri).  Being a computer that doesn’t take voice commands, it ignores her and she takes her anger out on a harmless tv screen.

Having gotten that out of her system, Ripley goes back to the shuttle to find the cat still alive and no alien in sight.  Then, as the ship starts spouting fire for no reason, she launches the shuttle and escapes.  She then watches and HEARS the explosion (I’m just going to ignore that) before getting ready for cold sleep.  I notice that she doesn’t add any of that very necessary coolant that two people died for, but I’ll ignore that, too.  Anyway, she puts the cat to bed, gets undressed, and starts flipping switches when she is almost b!tched slap by the alien.  It seems it thought the shuttle was a nice place to take a nap.

With the alien not fully awake, Ripley runs away to the other side of the ship and hides among some white space suits (I guess the black ones from earlier were night suits,? Stealth suits? Cold weather suits? Whatever).  Taking a minute, Ripley quickly comes up with a plan.  She dons a space suit, grabs a Darkwing Duck grapple gun, and straps herself into a chair.  She then sprays something on the alien (why the ship has the ability to spray anything on its machinery, I don’t know) to get it to wake up, the whole time singing “You are my Lucky Star”.

The alien stands then slowly moves to attack her before she opens the door and depressurizes the shuttle.  However, being a b@dass, the alien doesn’t care about piddling things like the lack of oxygen and gravity, and catches itself on the door and starts to come back in.  Ripley shoots it with the grapple and the alien is shot into space.  Ripley let’s the gun go but it gets caught on the door as it closes and the alien is still attached (I guess neither the door closing on it nor the acid blood of the alien is enough the cut the rope).

The alien uses the grapple to reach the ship and climb into the engine.  Ripley ignites the engine and that cuts the grapple line while also propelling the alien away.  We’re then treated to liquid dripping on the camera (I assume it was one of those futuristic engines that run on liquid that doesn’t freeze in space).  Finally, the worst over, Ripley makes a final report.  Expecting to hit the frontier in six weeks, she heads into cold sleep and our movie ends.

So that’s Alien:  a movie about a crew coming from who-knows-where, hearing a message sent by who-knows-what, working for a company named who-the-hell-knows, who sent them to be killed by a monster for who-knows-why.  The characters accomplish little other than dying, the action scenes are mostly lacking in action, and the plot has a lot of moments that just don’t make any sense.  But is it a great movie?  Yes.  Why?  It’s great for two reasons.

The first reason:  you don’t have to analyze it like I did.  Even I didn’t notice everything the first couple times I watched it.  Most people can just sit back and enjoy it without noticing all the nonsense.  Although, now that you’ve read this, you never will again!  Bwahahahaha!  Ahem.  And the second reason why the movie is great is because it created a legacy.  This movie didn’t just create AN alien.  It created THE alien.  It’s a concept that exists across cultures, ages, and locations as the space monster to watch out for.  Anything that can do that deserves some recognition.  Anyway, that’s a Nerd’s Eye View of Alien.  Next up, we continue the franchise with Aliens.


Onyx Truth Contributor:  Clyde Wheeler

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