I’d been terrified by the first film in the franchise but needed to know what happened next. Nothing prepared me for the onslaught of brilliance

Full disclosure: Aliens was my favourite film when I was 12, and Aliens is still my favourite film in 2020. I am now 35 years old and have flecks of grey in my beard. I’ve often worried about this. The film, I mean, not the beard. On the one hand, lots of people still like things they liked when they were 12. You don’t see entire generations reaching their 20s and suddenly switching their favourite colour because they think they’ve found a better one, or one day deciding they no longer care for Ribena or biscuits. Some things are just good, good for ever, and that’s that. Growing older alongside them has no impact whatsoever on their objective merits. 

On the other hand, some profound intellectual awakening probably should have occurred in the intervening 23 years. Because I was not some wise-beyond-their-years child genius whose artistic tastes were surpassed only by a wit pithier than a Sunday league half-time snack. At 12, I was a preposterous little idiot. I wore, almost exclusively, Adidas “popper” tracksuit bottoms, a Fila jumper so starchy you could smash paving slabs with it, and a curtains-with-undercut hairdo you might charitably call “wildly misjudged”. This was in addition to double-train-track braces, and the general fug of Lynx Inca that was concomitant with any boy at that time who had started to want girls to like them, and rather optimistically assumed body odour was the only reason they didn’t. Yet one thing I’ve got in common with that little dolt from 1997 is Aliens. He liked it and so do I. I’ve come to accept that the reason for this is simple: Aliens is the single greatest film ever made.

Aliens took the first film’s essence and Scrapheap Challenged a rip-roaring war movie out of it

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