Aliens (1986)

Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Sequel to: Alien
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein

Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is back on earth, only to find out that she’s been in hypersleep for quite a while and in the meantime, the planet where they found the aliens in the first place, has been colonized by people from the Wayland Corporation. Ripley tries to warn the company and its representative Burke (Paul Reiser), but they don’t really believe her. That is, until contact with the colony is lost. That is when the Company enlists Ripley (and a group of marines) to head back there to figure out what’s happening.

Aliens is a good sequel but it doesn’t quite achieve the greatness of Alien. Nevertheless, Ripley is still kick-ass and the film generally really enjoyable.

It is hard to make a sequel of a movie where it hadn’t been originally planned to have a sequel. And mostly Cameron manages rather well to tie the two pieces together. What didn’t work for me was the pretty sudden appearance of Ripley’s daughter (if she was ever mentioned in Alien, I must have missed it completely and it felt a bit weird that she didn’t mention her before and then it’s all she can think of) and that the film basically ends completely the same as Number One. A little bit of variety wouldn’t have hurt there.

But what I did like were the marines – Bill Paxton really gets everything out of his role and it is fun to watch. They also managed to introduce them all in a way that you could tell them apart and could connect with them before they all had to die, which is not something that movies and script writers always manage in these kinds of films.

I also liked the dynamic between Hicks and Ripley, and Newt and Ripley and Ripley in general. I could sing odes to Ripley, she’s such a great character. Plus, I loved how they continued to develop the AI plot. Robots rock and Bishop is pretty cool.

But the movie is just a little bit too long and a little bit too loud, especially compared to the first one. And in the end something is missing so that you feel just the teeniest bit unsatisfied. It doesn’t make it a bad film, but one that just isn’t quite as good as the original.

Summarising: Still worth a watch.


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