Aliens is the sequel to the 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien and is directed by prolific filmmaker James Cameron. Most well-known for his work on the Terminator franchise, Cameron uses this sequel to expand the Alien series mythos, introduce new characters, and deliver thrilling encounters with extraterrestrials.
Taking place several decades after the original movie, the film follows a group of colonial marines who are sent to investigate a nearby colony after all communications with it is lost. In their effort to discover the fate of the colonists’, the marines potentially fall prey to the same grisly end. Packed with action and sci-fi intrigue, Aliens is a bigger, more explosive movie than the original. By creating a more complex story with bigger stakes, Aliens is a sequel that might be even more effective than its predecessor.
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The Movie Review
The story in Aliens continues with Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), awakening from a deep cryo-sleep and finding herself safely back in human care. She is informed that, after surviving the intense encounter with the alien creature (now referred to as xenomorphs) in the first movie, she has been floating adrift in space for over 50 years.
In that time, the planet LV-426 has been occupied with a colony of human families but has since gone dark. Due to her past experience with the planet and the potential creatures that lurk there, Ripley is asked to join a group of colonial marines as they attempt to regain contact with the colony. Driven by horrible nightmares and an ever-present feeling of dread, Ripley agrees to join.
Whereas the first Alien movie was a slow-burn, suspense film with a handful of scares, Aliens is an explosive, high-octane thriller with plenty of frightening and gory moments.
That said, Aliens still manages to produce plenty of sci-fi intrigue, as well as some exceptionally creepy and uncomfortable sequences. Ripley is joined on her journey by a squadron of personable and entertaining personalities, including both female and male soldiers that show off their strength.
Out of the bunch, a few marines stand out, including Private Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein), a tough-as-nails soldier with a “kill first, ask questions later” policy. A great deal of comedic relief is provided by Private Hudson (Bill Paxton), delivering iconic lines like the forever-quotable “Game over man! Game over!”. Ripley also continues to be a fantastic character, with Sigourney Weaver bringing much more intensity to the performance this time around.
By pumping up the action and introducing a cast of memorable characters, Aliens manages to succeed where other sequels fail. It expands the lore surrounding the xenomorphs, as well as providing some excellent new information for fans to analyze. Like the first film, the plot is full of surprising moments and unexpected twists, keeping you glued to the screen.
While it’s a bit longer than the first movie (and that length can occasionally feel too drawn-out), Aliens still keeps viewers gripping their seats with suspense and jumping in terror. If you’re a fan of the first Alien flick or sci-fi movies in general, Aliens is an excellent pick for your next horror movie night.
- More action and gore
- Memorable characters and quotable lines
- Intriguing plot with plenty of surprises
- Some characters can get annoying
- Pacing feels drawn-out in spots