Aliens  (1986)


IMDB Rating 8.4/10  137 min - Rated 15 Sci-Fi | Action

Stars:           Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn Director:     James Cameron

Ripley (Weaver), the sole survivor of the previous film, returns to Earth after fifty seven years in the suspended animation chamber of an escape pod. She discovers the planet that played host to the alien's eggs has been colonized, and contact with the pioneering families there has been lost. The sinister 'company' convinces Ripley to return as advisor to a detachment of marines.  James Cameron cleverly changes direction for his sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece, Alien. Realizing there is no sense in attempting to recreate the subtleties and tension of the original, he opts for the gung-ho approach and floods the screen with heavily armed space marines and literally dozens of aliens. On paper it sounds worryingly like the classic sequel to a classic film (a faster, bigger disappointment), but Cameron pulls it off. Where Scott seemed to sit behind you in the cinema audience and carefully massage your neck while cracking the occasional muscle, Cameron hits you over the head with a club and steals your seat.  But that's not to say Aliens is dumb. Picking up on its predecessor's theme of motherhood, we are introduced to an orphaned girl, Newt (Henn) with whom Ripley forms an immediate bond (she lost a daughter on her journey back to Earth), and also the alien queen, allowing for a fantastic confrontation between two matriarchal figures.  Ripley emerges as an even more densely layered character this time around. Tenacious, resourceful and sympathetic, Weaver plays the part with a mesmerizing conviction that helps establish Ripley as the genre's greatest female character.


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