Worth A Look: 12.02%
Just Average: 5.04%
Pretty Crappy: 1.94%
7 reviews, 216 user ratings
by Dr. Isaksson
"Aliens" is James Cameron's massive sequel to the 1979 Sci-Fi classic Alien. A bold and daringly agressive film which sometimes flies and sometimes flails.James Cameron took it in his hands to tackle a huge task. A sequel to Alien with alot more Aliens this time and a lot more weapon use. He really manages to make it work.
"Aliens is a 'Get Away From Her You Bitch' Kinda Film."
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been found after years of floating around in her escape shuttle. When she awakens, things are far more different then before. She is questioned by The Company's authorities to explain just what had happened on the Nostromo and why she had detonated the huge ship. Her reasons were clear enough to her mind. There was an Alien life form on board. The storu is not beleieved. However, when contact is lost with the colonists of 'Hadley's Hope', a colony built on the very same planet where the Alien spaceship has rested for many years.
Trouble. Ripley is asked to join a Company Offical(Paul Reiser), an android, (Lance Hendricksen) and a crew of Marines including Hicks (Michael Biehn), Hudson (Bill Paxton) and Vasquez, (Janette Goldstein) to check out the planet LV426 and see why transmissions have been lost with the colonists. Suffering from horrifying nightmares, Ripley agrees to the task on the terms that the Aliens are wiped out forever. End of story.
They reach the planet and the place is a wasteland. No one is anywhere to be seen. The Marines infiltrate the complex and then discover that the only thing living is a small girl and a host of Aliens.
Now it's time to kill or be killed. For the remaining 2 hours of Aliens we are led on scenes of action, action, and more action. Tons of explosions, chases, and hand to hand battle abound here. The marines must now make due with what the small amount of weaponry they have and Ripley must learn the basics of battle in order to survive. The Aliens do their most to kill as many marines as they can and they succeed. But they have the resorces of one girl, Newt (Carrie Henn), who has vast knowledge of the colony's complex and can show them ways to escape.
With only hours to get out of the complex before it explodes due to structural damage, the Aliens move in for a full fledged attack that leaves the viewer breathless. We're led through a tantalizing air duct chase where Hudson, Vasquez, and Gorman lose their lives. Then we're horrified to see Newt snatched by the Aliens with only minutes left to escape the planet. The desision Ripley has to make is an easy one. She is going back in to save Newt.
It is inside the complex's bottom level that Ripley comes face to face with the mother of all Aliens. The queen. One hell of a bitch! With only minutes to go Ripley blasts the hell out of that creature and takes off only to have to deal with that same Queen a second time in a crazy no holds barred slug fest. It is almost too much to take in one film! But that's it in a nutshell.
As amazing as this film is I still prefer the original. James Cameron really directs the action sequences with a fantastic touch. However, the writing can be weak at some moments and the characters are written up with qualites a bit too stereotypical. Hicks=The tough, quiet guy with a heart. Hudson=The emotional wreck (Like Lambert in Alien). And Vasquez=The tough ass female who says little. These characters are good enough, if a touch phoney, and the actors were all competent but Aliens was missing something that exsisted in the first Alien. Maybe they just had too many aliens to contend with because I never got a feel for what kind of a person these marines were. The music score by James Horner is very effective with it's military style and quick, intense playing. This music definately pulls the drama up to almost unreal levels. Horner also does a fine job at mimicking the same style of music that was used in Alien.
Overall, the film was brilliant but I still have to harp on some problems I had. Cameron's plot seemed to mirror everything that already happened in Alien.
Alien: A Company robot 'Ash' wants to protect the Alien.
Aliens: A Company worker 'Burke' tries to protect the Alien.
Alien: Dallas tries to find the Alien in the air ducts.
Aliens: There's a big air duct chase.
Alien: The ship is set to detinate and a female computer voice counts down the time remaining.
Aliens: The complex is overheating and a female computer voice counts down the time remaining. (From where?)
Alien: Ripley goes in search of her cat Jones.
Aliens: Ripley goes looking for Newt.
Alien: The Alien hitches a ride onto the scuttle.
Aliens: The Queen Alien hitches a ride onto the ship.
Alien: Ripley blows the Alien out of the airlock.
Aliens: Ripley blows the Queen out of the airlock.
(This scene is by far one of the most unrealistic things I have ever seen! That Ripley must be pretty strong to hold onto a ladder with a Queen hanging onto her foot and with tons of air pressure sucking out the oxygen!)
All of this seemed familiar, which slightly weakened the otherwise excellent film. I only wish Cameron would have brought something more original, more dark and horrific to this sequel. Then it would have been perfect. However, considering how good the first one was, (My favorite movie!) Aliens is a pretty damn good film.Aliens has a wonderful power in it's creation, however the mystery and pure horror of the first film is far superior.
****1/2 4`1/2 Stars
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originally posted: 01/25/02 21:03:59