Aliens

"Excellent"

Aliens Review


In Aliens--the sequel to the 1979's Alien--Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Lt. Ripley. In the first film, she was the soul survivor after her crew discovered deadly aliens during a space expedition. At the end of Alien, she expelled a creature through the air lock and put herself into hibernation. Aliens opens 50 years later, when a ship crew discovers Ripley sleeping in deep space. She's awakened and returned to Earth, where she learns that her daughter, who was 11 years old the last time she saw her, has recently died of old age.

To her astonishment and horror, Ripley also learns that a multi-billion dollar human colony has been established on the alien-infested planet from which she escaped. When the colony loses contact with Earth, Ripley tries to tell everyone about the aliens, but, naturally, no one listens to her. A crew of heavily armed soldiers, technicians, and scientists set out on another space expedition to investigate. After being told that the soldiers intend to destroy the species, Ripley decides to tag along as well. Once the ship arrives at the colony, however, all hell breaks loose.

Aliens is as obvious as they come. We know from the beginning that another crew will travel to space, and, for whatever reason, something will go horribly wrong, and all but a few lucky souls will end up dead at the claws of the breed of deadly monsters. It happened in the first film, and we know it will happen again, not only in this film, but in the concluding films in the quadrilogy as well. The fact that the films are routine is irrelevant, however, because it's the ride to the inevitable that is all the fun. Aliens is one of the few films that can be predicted perfectly, but it's so well crafted--and so damn exciting--that we just don't care. The destination does not matter just as long as the journey is entertaining... and Aliens is very entertaining.

The film owes a lot to Sigourney Weaver's performance, which is the thread that holds everything together. She portrays Ripley not as a hard-boiled alien commando, but as a multi-layered human being. Weaver puts her heart and soul into Ripley, and provides her with a lot of empathy and depth. She injects vulnerability and tragedy into Ripley that shows, yes, she's a tough broad, but not out of choice. The supporting performances are also impressive and, from Paul Reiser to Bill Paxton, it's fun to see so many recognizable faces so early in their careers.

Because of the terrific creature effects, Aliens is remembered as gorier than it actually is. Gore can provide a horror movie with unforgettable moments, (I will never recover from the scene in Alien: Resurrection where a creature gets sucked through a hole the size of an apple), and there are plenty of gruesome opportunities in Aliens, but they are not always seized. For instance, there is a lengthy sequence in which the soldiers search an abandoned building for aliens. Of course, the aliens ambush the soldiers. Director James Cameron shows the attack through cameras in the soldiers' helmets and brief snippets of footage. In a way, this is a wise choice; Cameron knows it's what we don't see that scares us. But I would have given anything to see the aftermath of that attack, or at least a little more blood and guts. Aliens is a great roller coaster ride as it stands, but leaves a little too much to the imagination at times.

James Cameron's original, extended version of the film highlights the DVD's vast arsenal of special features. The additional scenes are not like most films' deleted scenes, which often deserve the cutting room floor. These scenes provide the film with insightful detail, most notably, about Ripley's daughter. And, in case you aren't sure what's new, a non-intrusive deleted footage marker helps you keep track. The disk also includes commentary from just about everyone involved and their grandmothers, nine featurettes, Cameron's original treatment, and much more. This DVD is a gold mine.

The Alien Quadrilogy includes a total of nine disks: all four Alien films, each with a separate disk of extras, and an additional bonus disk complete with a Q&A with Ridley Scott, a UK documentary on Alien, original theatrical trailers to all four films, a DVD-ROM "script to screen" comparison feature, an anthology of 11 issues of the Dark Horse Alien comics, and more. These materials will give you a whole new appreciation for the Alien films.

He prefers the term "artificial person."



Aliens

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 137 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th July 1986

Box Office Worldwide: $131.1M

Budget: $18.5M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox Film Corporat

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Brandywine Productions, SLM Production Group

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 8.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, as Rebecca "Newt" Jorden, as Corporal Dwayne Hicks, as L. Bishop, as Carter J. Burke, as Private W. Hudson, as Lieutenant S. Gorman, as Private J. Vasquez, Al Matthews as Sergeant A. Apone, as Private M. Drake, Colette Hiller as Corporal C. Ferro, as Private D. Spunkmeyer, Cynthia Dale Scott as Corporal C. Dietrich, Ricco Ross as Private R. Frost, Tip Tipping as Private T. Crowe

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.