Aliens (1986)

Aliens Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Aliens Movie Review

Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action horror film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver. It is a good, but far from great sequel.

………………………………………………….

Get away from her, you bitch!

………………………………………………….

Aliens Movie Review

………………………………………………….

First, I’ll state the positives. I really liked the film’s emotional approach. It made the movie quite relatable and very touching in certain scenes. The choice to basically give Ripley a new daughter after she’d lost her own really paid off in terms of characterization and emotion. Ripley here is at her best and this is one of the best action heroes of all time as she is badass, but also human evidenced by her post-traumatic stress disorder and at first unwillingness to go back.

Sigourney Weaver killed it here and entirely deserved her Oscar nomination. She truly became Ripley and cemented her status as a strong action heroine in the process, in my opinion the strongest one ever. I really liked Newt as she’s such a cute, yet also brave and capable kid and the interactions between the two were wonderful.

Vasquez is underdeveloped, but quite funny at times and quite memorable as this butch private. I really liked how they made Bishop a hero now as Ash was the villain in ‘Alien’ and having the android be the villain again would have been repetitive. But Burke just isn’t all that compelling as the new villain, though solid for sure.

………………………………………………….

Aliens Movie Review

………………………………………………….

There are a lot of memorable scenes to be had in Aliens. I naturally loved the line “Get away from her, you bitch!” That scene stole the show and Weaver’s delivery is priceless. I also really liked the portrayal of the queen, very memorable and it led to more world building for the series and was honestly a natural choice given the creature’s design and reproduction.

So Aliens is a good film, very good indeed. But what is it that leads to it not being great? Well, in short the answer is two words – James Cameron. Let me explain. I have never been a fan of this director and this movie really cements that feeling for me. I love the Alien franchise and this movie would have been great with any other director, but Cameron brought his typical approach to it and ruined it in my opinion.

I am talking about the action. It is just overwhelming. The choice to turn an Alien film into action and not horror film was not a particularly good one in the first place and the execution is even worse. There are some great action set pieces here, for sure. But whereas the original film was so calm and thus all the more effective, this one is overly bombastic and the second half is just ridiculously fast paced and filled with spectacle. It definitely ruined the suspense and enjoyment for me.

………………………………………………….

Aliens Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I also found its first half a bit too long and slow. It was prolonged in order to strengthen the character development, but they weren’t all that successful with it given that we only have a couple of well developed, strong characters here. The ending is also ridiculously rehashed from the first film. The editing is surely not the greatest and I don’t know why the Academy nominated it. As for its other six nominations, they are all pretty much deserved as the effects are definitely terrific, but I thought the score wasn’t as memorable this time around.

It seems that Mr. Cameron thought that bigger is better evidenced by this film’s overabundance of action scenes whereas the original was so wonderfully restrained in that department. And that is why I honestly cannot comprehend how anyone could deem Aliens to be better than Alien. It does have an excellent performance from Sigourney Weaver and Ripley here is at her strongest, I love Newt and their relationship brought a lot of heart to the film which also features some memorable scenes and funny lines. It is a good film, but it just never reached the greatness that its predecessor reached and Cameron is to blame of course.

My Rating – 4

………………………………………………….

Share
Posted in 1980s, 1986, Action, FILM DECADES, Horror, MOVIE REVIEWS, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.