Today, we're going to go through our heroes of the movie ALIEN and issue kudos to those who performed heroically, and demerits to those who showed really poor judgement. I'm not going to lie, y'all -- most of these are being handed out posthumously. As you should know, because you've seen the movie RIGHT?
Of course you have. You should've. You better. No, I'm sure you have. I HEART YOU, ALIEN is what I'm trying to say, here.
And you can intuit who the bad guy turns out to be because he isn't in the heroes list, and because there are a few hero moments for others that involve him so you really shouldn't be reading this one especially, if you haven't seen the movie or read the review already or otherwise been spoiled on that point [which, how could you not have been at this point... are you living in a cave??].
DALLAS: Our Captain is pretty laid back, until things start to go wrong with the ship or crew and then he can get kinda bitchy. But when he realizes he effed up by not listening to Ripley about bringing an infected Kane on board, he steps up to save the crew. Well, he tried.
RIPLEY: Our Second Officer is the level headed one who is trying to keep an infected crewmember off ship until he can go through the regulated quarantine. Obvs, she must be ignored as a corporate hard-ass. Turns out, maybe she should've been listened to.
LAMBERT: Our Navigator, Lambert, is sarcastic and gripe-filled and kind of pissy. I LOVE HER... to start with, but then when shit turns serious, she becomes a screamy, teary lump and I like her less.
BRETT: Our Junior Engineer should really learn a lesson about following runaway cats into dark corners and not looking up when there is a mysterious, alien life form on the loose. Oops, too late.
PARKER: Our Lead Engineer is more concerned about what he sees as the basic unfairness going on between what the officers are getting paid for this trip, as compared to he and Brett. Until those same officers do something dumb, and then he's just worried about surviving an alien intruder long enough to kill it dead. Yeah, maybe focusing on getting off the ship would've been more helpful.
KANE: Oh, Kane! Our First Officer is a natural born explorer fascinated with new discoveries on remote planets. It's admirable. That doesn't mean you stick your face near odd, oblong objects with twitchy things inside it. It'll be too late for Kane to learn valuable lessons, but you should take heed of his error.
KUDOS Go To Our Fine Crew:
Dallas - Dallas' finest moment is going into the dark, cramped shafts with nothing but a flame thrower in order to find and drive the beast into the main airlock of the Nostromo. It was certainly his prerogative to send in a crew member, or simply remain silent as Ripley volunteers -- but he doesn't. He takes the responsibility for trying to fix his screw up.
Ripley - I have to give major kudos to Ripley for facing off against the ALIEN in the shuttle. She has a very short cowering sequence, before her mind starts working again and she plans out exactly what she needs to do to survive and get the thing off her means of escape.
Lambert - Well, Lambert does have one good moment. She's the one that takes out evil Ashbot by electric poling him in the back. Yay, Lambert. She saved Parker, Ripley and ultimately herself from Ash's mechanations.
Brett - Our engineer is the tinkerer on board and he's the one that comes up with a suitable weapon to fight against their unwanted passenger that will not put them or the ship at risk with the whole acid-for-blood issue.
And ultimately, it is his tinkered weapon that stops Ashbot from killing the crew.
Parker - Oh, Parker. He has the self-sacrificing hero moment and that always gets a huge KUDO. You can't be more heroic than giving your life to save someone else [alas, it doesn't work since Lambert is paralyzed with terror -- but that isn't Parker's fault; he gave everything to save Lambert].
Kane - I'm going to give Kane a half-kudo just for his exuberant volunteerism. The conditions on LV-426 are harsh and unpleasant to human life, necessitating a bulky, uncomfortable suit to trek in. But he steps up and embraces the challenge.
DEMERITS For Our Stupid Crew:
Dallas - Alas, our Captain makes a series of really bad decisions. All of them having to deal with Kane and the organism on his face and his not taking Ripley's concerns about Ash a little more seriously. But I have to go with his worst decision being not following strict quarantine procedures when Kane has a life form attached to his face. Quarantine is there for a reason, and as Captain, Dallas is surely well aware of the risks he's running with all of their lives.
Ripley - Well, one might think I'll give a demerit for the amount of time she spends on the cat, but I'm not gonna. During the times when Jones is a thing, there isn't anything else for her to do anyway except wait for Parker and Lambert. Maybe her time would have been better spent going to help them load oxygen tanks, but I can respect her for not just wanting to abandon the animal before they're ready to leave aboard the shuttle.
I will issue her a half-demerit though for her generally prickly behavior toward just about everyone. She's impatient and has a sharp tongue that alienates her crewmembers.
Lambert - Lambert. Hysteria is something that drives me up a wall. It's understandable, I guess. But that doesn't make it anymore of a handy survival trait and Lambert spends way too much time being screechy and unhelpful. Unlike Ripley's personality flaw, this gets a full demerit.
Brett - Hmm. Brett has several issues as a character. He's generally unpleasant in personality. He's kind of dumb, except when it comes to his area of expertise. He's a bit of a yes-man to Parker. But his real issue, I think, is that he just doesn't make good decisions. I'll have to give him his demerit for not giving up on searching for Jones to immediately take the moulted skin of the ALIEN to his crewmates. It would have let them know that their current strategy of searching the ship with underpowered cattle prods wasn't going to be effective, and it would have saved his life (at least for a bit longer).
If it wasn't for that poor judgement is setting priorities, he would've gotten one for his lack of vigilance in looking in all directions -- he's in a dark space with way too many places for something to hide. But, it's the finding of the changed conditions on board the ship and still putting finding Jones as the priority that gets the black mark, to me.
Parker - Parker also gets a half-demerit. I don't like that he doesn't take over for Lambert to advise Dallas when it is obvious that she's (AGAIN) losing her shit at this critical moment. He's standing right next to her and should've grabbed the head set from her [even though their scanner display screen seems relatively ill-designed as explained in the review].
Kane - Oh, Kane. You idiot. You don't see something twitchy in an ovoid-shaped sack that you've just described as something that looks like an egg, and then stick your face in it! Your exuberance for exploration went too far, and you stopped thinking of risks. Demerit for fatal short-sightedness.
And there you have it. I love this movie.