3Aliens -- The Evil Corporation Hires Alien-Killing Ripley to Not Kill Their Aliens
We've previously discussed how ridiculous it was for Ripley to accept another job from Weyland-Yutani despite all of the bullshit they pulled on her in the first Alien (you know, what with them intentionally sending her down to a planet to get eaten by space monsters).
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on the whole damn franchise."
But now look at it from the company's point of view. Why in the possible hell did they want to involve her a second time?
In Aliens, Ripley wakes up from hypersleep after half a century, and her bosses say they don't believe a goddamn word of her frenzied babbling about a murderous space creature. Moreover, the flight computer from her original ship (the one she set to self-destruct in the first film in an attempt to kill the alien) claims that she blew the whole thing up for no apparent reason. She spends her hearing with the Weyland-Yutani board members shouting and flinging papers around like a lunatic.
"How could you botch a suicide mission this badly?!"
In the very next scene, Weyland-Yutani sends Mad About You's Paul Reiser to convince Ripley to escort a team of marines down to one of their colonies, which they think may be overrun with the same aliens that they refused to acknowledge even existed in the previous scene. Ripley agrees to accompany the marines as an adviser, because she's having trouble adjusting to civilian life due in large part to the PTSD we mentioned earlier, and because marines apparently need advice on how to shoot monsters.
"We point the barrel at them? Sacred Dancing Moses, that's genius."
Let's go over what happened the last time Weyland-Yutani sent Ripley into outer space with a bunch of expensive equipment and an alien -- she blew everything up, all of it, and floated around in the stars for six decades.
Seriously, Ripley's personnel file must just be a list of things she has done in direct opposition to the Weyland-Yutani business model. Also, they already know she's crazy -- they spent an entire board meeting telling her so. But the moment they find out that their colonists may have come into contact with some aliens, they trip over themselves in their rush to put Ripley back on the payroll so she can oversee another operation involving billion-dollar equipment and nightmare space creatures. And guess what happens this time:
That's right -- the same fucking thing. Ripley's entire testimony (containing every piece of knowledge that would have been useful to the marines) was available in a written report, which the marine lieutenant specifically mentions as being available for the entire team to read. They already have everything she could possibly tell them safely written down in a folder that can't blow anything up. There is literally no reason to send her along on the mission, yet Weyland-Yutani does so anyway, presumably as an exercise to keep their insurance division on their toes.
2Mr. and Mrs. Smith -- Their Bosses Try to Get Them to Kill Each Other (Repeatedly)
John and Jane Smith, played by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are two sexy master assassins who have been married for years but have somehow managed to remain completely oblivious to each other's status as world-class killers, in one of the most improbable strokes of storytelling convenience in cinematic history. Their respective employers find out about this staggeringly huge oversight and decide to hatch a joint plan to send the two after the same target, knowing they'll be forced to kill each other in the process and save both firms a ton of embarrassing paperwork.
The true bane of any secret agency.
John and Jane try to do the spousal elimination dance several times, resulting in the most glorified display of domestic violence ever photographed. However, they ultimately decide not to kill each other, because they've been married for like 10 years and are actually pretty happy with that arrangement. Instead, John and Jane team up to take on their respective firms in a massive final shootout at a ritzy department store, because that's where attractive people do things.
"I figured our natural habitat would be more easily defensible."
Let's say you have two of the best professional killers in the world. Let's go even further and say that the two of them are a married couple who, by all accounts, genuinely care for one another. If you were trying to rub them both out, they've made it easy for you, right? They live in the same place -- just poison their tap water or hurl a microbus at their house with a trebuchet. Boom, problem solved.
What you should absolutely never do, under any circumstance, is try to get them to kill each other.
Especially if they both look great in their underpants.
Sure, it might work. It might turn out that one (or both) of the Smiths is a cold-hearted hate machine who only married for the sake of a good cover. But that's a pretty big risk to take on "might," and what's absolutely mind blowing is the fact that the firms seem to realize this. They essentially force John and Jane into this situation with the constant reminder that if neither one kills the other, both of their lives will be forfeit. The firms are deliberately pushing Mr. and Mrs. Smith further and further into a corner they'll be forced to fight their way out of in the most bullet-acious way imaginable. If their ultimate plan is the death of John and Jane, why bother with all of this nonsense in the first place? Just put a hydrogen bomb in their mailbox and be done with it.