Ripley declawing the Marines
I like this movie. It's better than most modern action movies and genius level compared to modern sci-fi. There's a lot of care in it and it shows, the suspension of disbelief is real. There's a lot of realism in it. The good kind of realism ie. not annoyingly contemporary. It's a rather timeless movie where everything looks real. You can almost feel how tangible the sets and things are.
That said, the processor scene bothers me. Ripley warns Gorman about the reactor which is good yet she stops there. She lets them proceed into the nest unarmed. She knew how dangerous the aliens were and should have fought with Gorman to have them return and reload with lighter caliber weapons. All it would have taken is 10 seconds of screen time for her to protest the foolish mission and Gorman to say no. Then have a quiet look of frustration on her face until it's time for her to take charge and drive the APC. It would have made more sense for her to do so.
She just sort of stares as they go further into the nest and things look worse with the cocoons. She says "Get them out of there" after the chestburster which is reactionary of her.
I know it's a movie and - pacing. It just feels like Ripley's effort is half there, when just hours ago she was reprimanding the Marines on the Sulaco about how dangerous the aliens are.
Also she doesn't warn Ferro to check the dropship. She knew how the aliens liked to sneak on ships and could be anywhere. Of course if that was done it would really mess with pacing and shorten the movie. They fly up to the Sulaco, nuke the site, and play a game of cards?
I like Ripley, I consider her a better action hero than most male action heroes. That doesn't mean she's perfect and her flaws can't be noted. She shined in Aliens but that was partly because Gorman and Burke were idiots, and Hicks wasn't exactly the take charge type.
To her credit she wasn't either. She didn't seek power and leadership, she took charge because she had to in a confused and scary situation. To her credit she's an everywoman.