My day started off with an innocent idea to watch Ridley Scott‘s Alien with my dad. I had recently watched Prometheus and had somehow managed to watch Aliens before watching the original movie (this most likely happened because my dad was watching it and I didn’t want to move). I recall thinking that Ripley was pretty cool in Aliens, she was badass and was really good at killing aliens. Watching the original movie completely changed my thinking. I consider Ripley the most badass lady ever after seeing that movie. I couldn’t help but notice how understatedly great she is throughout the whole movie. It is something you could easily pass over, but I ended up noticing it a lot. I was so amazed by my awe for Ripley that I had to go and write a blog post about it. So there you go.
After seeing Alien I don’t really consider it a movie about an alien killing an entire group of people. I think this movie is about one lady, Ripley to be exact, who has to put up with a ridiculous amount of bullshit. I went into this movie knowing that Ripley would be the only one to survive, but I had no idea how much she deserved to survive. She was the only character in the movie that I felt like I could relate to. I can relate to terror over an alien monster of course, but Ripley had the street sense and logic that never really applies to most thriller heroes. I started to like her in the very beginning when the crew members were trying to bring the infected man (Mr. Ollivander to my amazement) into the ship. Ripley did the smart thing. She decided that it was a really bad idea to let the man with a monster attached to his mouth into the ship. Of course she is foiled by the other idiots on the ship, but I was still very impressed. I recall yelling at almost every other character at some point, “are you an idiot?” “Don’t touch that!” but I never had to do so with Ripley. She was too busy cussing out the rest of the crew to pay attention to me.
I was also excited to see a character who was both super tough and inherently human. I found Ripley extremely realistic for an action heroine. She was tough in order to survive, but she wasn’t emotionless. She cried at times for obvious reasons as she was in a terrifying situation. She also didn’t take any crap from the rest of the crew because she would have had to do this as second in command. Ripley also wasn’t made more masculine in order to fit the “action hero” persona. Her sex didn’t seem to matter for most of the movie, but she also was clearly a woman the whole time. She was not boiled down to a testosterone filled violence junkie. She had terror and anger down perfectly. I was also particularly moved by her desperation to save the cat, Jones. There is something really human about that action, that Ripley didn’t want to be alone.
I also appreciated that she wasn’t boiled down to a sex object either. There was one underwear scene, but it was hardly fan service. Weaver spends about 50% of the scene screaming and running from the alien, and you can see her butt crack about 90% of the time. I wouldn’t call that delicate or sexy in any way. It was simply normal. A normal woman thrust into a terrible situation.
If anything Ripley is a fighter and I love her for it. I can respect her as a character so much and I love that in a movie. She is the action heroine done right, without detrimental romantic attachments that make her seem weak and without dependence, yet she hates to be the only one left. Her friends are dead and her emotions do not ignore that. In short, I love Ripley and we could all do with a little re watch of Alien in appreciation. Ripley is a badass.