Aliens proves a very worthy followup to Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi shocker, Alien. James Cameron's vault into the big time after scoring with the exploitation actioner The Terminator makes up for lack of surprise with sheer volume of thrills and chills - emphasis is decidedly on the plural aspect of the title.

Aliens proves a very worthy followup to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi shocker, Alien. James Cameron’s vault into the big time after scoring with the exploitation actioner The Terminator makes up for lack of surprise with sheer volume of thrills and chills – emphasis is decidedly on the plural aspect of the title.

Cameron [working from a story by him, David Giler and Walter Hill] picks up the thread 57 years later, when Sigourney Weaver and her cat (who have been in hibernation) are rescued by a deep space salvage team. The authorities ask her to accompany a team of marines back to the planet to investigate why all contact with the colony has suddenly been lost. Group sent this time consists of a bunch of tough grunts with a sour attitude about having been sent on such a dippy mission.

Weaver finds one human survivor – a cute, tough, terrified little girl played by Carrie Henn on the planet.

The odds against the crew are, in a word, monstrous, and unsurprisingly, its members are dispatched one by one until it once again comes down to a battle royal between Weaver and one last monster.

Although film accomplishes everything it aims to do, overall impression is of a film made by an expert craftsman, while Scott clearly had something of an artist in him.

Weaver does a smashing job as Ripley. Henn is very appealing as the little girl and Jenette Goldstein makes a striking impression as a body-building recruit who is tougher than any of the guys in the outfit.

[A 1992 video release, with the handle Special Edition , featured an extra 17 mins of footage.]

1986: Best Visual Effects, Sound Effects Editing.

Nominations: Best Actress (Sigourney Weaver), Art Direction, Editing, Original Music Score, Sound

Aliens

Production

20th Century-Fox/Brandywine. Director James Cameron; Producer Gale Anne Hurd; Writer James Cameron; Camera Adrian Biddle Editor Ray Lovejoy; Music James Horner Art Peter Lamont

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 137 MIN.

With

Sigourney Weaver Carrie Henn Michael Biehn Lance Henriksen Paul Reiser Jenette Goldstein
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