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