“Franchise Retrospective: Alien”

Alien Covenant is being released this week, and prior to this we’ve gotten a good amount of Alien content. Whether it’s Prometheus or the two AVP films, the franchise expanded past its basic series. Honestly, there’s definitely the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to seeing the Xenomorph in action. I’ll be ranking all the movies below, and giving my brief thoughts on each. It’s definitely a top heavy list. There will be some spoilers for the films.

7. AVP: Requiem

So after a decent film in AVP, we get the sequel. The ending to that first film was something that made you excited to see what came next. The predator on its death bed, with an alien popping out of its chest. Now we have an Alien/Predator out there. How could they mess it up? They did, inevitably. Once the ship crash landed in Colorado I knew we were in for a moronic experience. You broke new ground with this creature, but why are we not in space? I just wasn’t a fan of this film at all. Terrible acting across the board and poor story telling.

6. Alien: Resurrection

After Alien3 I think people had soured on the franchise at that point. There was just no coming back from how discombobulated that film was, but they managed to do a worse job. Joss Whedon wrote the film, and he wanted to go for a more light hearted tone, in a film where Aliens are coming to kill you. Those two tones don’t really jive well. When you try to get two very different tones to blend together like that, more likely than not it doesn’t turn out well. For some reason Ripley wanted to have sex with everyone in this film, why that was even there made no sense either. Hard one to watch.

5. AVP

I had a lot of fun with AVP. My expectations were low, but watching these two icons go at it was a treat. It’s one of those films where you have two massive characters, but we have these humans running around. You don’t care about them, or the Alien and Predator. You’re waiting for the fight and that makes it worth it for the most part.

4. Alien3

There’s a lot of backstory that went into the making of Alien3. I won’t bore you with the details, but that story is definitely more interesting than the film. Countless amounts of writers and directors were attached and then let go. The perfect case of what happens when studios meddle in the creative process excessively. There’s the iconic shot of the Xenomorph next to Ripley’s bald head. I guess there’s that.

3. Prometheus

Ridley Scott returned to the Alien franchise for Prometheus. A film that takes too much of a beating in my opinion. From start to finish I enjoyed the film. First of all, it’s beautiful aesthetically. As most of Scott’s films are. Brilliant performances from Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender to boot. It’s thrilling and beautiful to look at.

2. Alien

The film that started it all. It’s more of a horror flick than anything. Scott builds the suspense to a beautiful crescendo at the conclusion. Alien is brilliant, the tension just rises throughout. For something tabs set in space, it feels so claustrophobic. Sigourney Weaver was fantastic. She’s so badass, and it made you appreciate Scott’s use of her character. She was a beast. One of the most iconic characters in film. My number one in this franchise just cements that.

1. Aliens

James Cameron takes over the reigns from Ridley Scott. Let that sink in. This franchise LOST Ridley Scott but gained James Cameron. That’s like the Patriots losing Brady but getting Aaron Rodgers. It’s crazy. As Alien was more of a horror movie, Aliens was an action, suspense film. It’s paced very well, and it’s a roller coaster from start to finish. Number two and number one are really interchangeable for me. If you’re a horror fan you have the original in this spot, if you’re an action fan as I am, you put the sequel.

5 thoughts on ““Franchise Retrospective: Alien”

      1. Agreed – i find it a fascinating expansion of the mythology which rewards multiple watches both with visual splendour and philosophical pondering.

        Sadly it wasn’t what a lot of people wanted from the franchise. 😔


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