Aliens (1986) Reviewed

ALIENS ( 1986 )
James Cameron takes the concept of ALIEN and fleshes it out with more mythology and action. The results make for an edge-of-your seat experience, even years later on video. LV427 has been colonized in the 57 years that have passed since Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley blew the alien “out the goddamned airlock!” But now, no one there is picking up the phone. Waking up after an unusually long sleep in suspended animation, Ripley is employed by “the company” to accompany a rag-tag group of Marines to go check things out – y’know, just in case there are aliens. The Stan Winston effects stay true to the original Geiger design and break it out to create a whole nest of freaky looking beasts. A little girl survivor named Newt bonds with Ripley who takes on a maternal role for some dramatic heft, which actually works. What’s more, Aliens is well acted and even the marginal Marine roles are given lots of characterization. Paul Reiser is the company sleaze bag who wants to bring an alien back in(!)Ripley and Newt. (hissss!) Cameron’s attention to detail is remarkable and most of his regular company (Lance Henrickson, et al.) is here. Bill Paxton is a standout as the tough-talking Marine that falls to pieces at the first sign of action. There’s a much longer director’s cut that adds more than is necessary (including too much background on Newt’s family) and is only really interesting after watching the shorter, and better-paced theatrical version. I saw this on opening night when I was 11 and it’s one of the great movie-going memories of my life. ****

~ by Number5ive on November 12, 2008.

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