Critic Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
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Critic Reviews for Aliens
Scene to scene, encounter to encounter, its tension builds unrelentingly. So, fasten your seat belts. It`s a blast.
[Aliens] is a spectacular example of state-of-the-art science fiction simply because it never tries to be overtly spectacular.
It's blaster action, not Gothic future-horror. Fortunately, director-screenwriter James Cameron has shaped his film around the defiant intelligence and sensual athleticism of Weaver, and that's where Aliens works best.
This film is also the best monster movie of the year and the best picture of any kind to open so far this summer. Put it another way: Aliens is the Jaws of the '80s.
Action thrillers assail but rarely test us; this is the tautest, most provoking, and altogether most draining example ever made.
Audience Reviews for Aliens
While the original film focused on creating an atmosphere of pure tension, this sequel is much more action-oriented, even if the first hour is actually very slow. Instead of one alien, Cameron has now a horde of goo-spewing, acid-blood creatures to scare the audience to death.
I liked this more than the first one. Simply a rocking movie & I do recommend it to watch. But you need to watch the first one to get the general idea about the story line.
Just like the film that precedes it, Aliens is a cinematic masterpiece. Whereas Alien was a space horror type film that was all about mood, tone, and atmosphere, and using the claustrophobia of the ship to produce its scares, Aliens is a rip-roaring balls out action fest. The tension and claustrophobia of the setting is used to make things more intense and scary, but this is an action film through and through.
Set 57 years after the events of Alien, Ellen Ripley, last surviving member of the Nostromo, is awoken from stasis, and given another mission. In her time away, LV-426, the planetoid where the Nostromo crew encountered the vicious alien in the original film, has been colonized by a group of terraformers. However, contact with them has been launched, so a group of marines are sent in to investigate, and Ripley is sent along as a consultant. Like the first film, they encounter alien trouble, but instead of a single, yet , deadly threat, there are many of them, and this time, it's war.
Ellen Ripley is one of the greatest action movie characters of all time. She became a trend setter for future heroines to come, but she herself is inspired by the blaxploitation stars of the 70s such as Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson. They laid the ground work, she just built on top of it. She started out as a strong woman just doing what she had to in order to survive in Alien, now, she's a fully developed bad ass that you don't want to mess with. She's not static though- she also shows her tender side by playing mother to the child stranded on the planet. The marines that accompany her to LV-426 aren't as developed, but they aren't totally cookie-cutter caricatures, either. In fact, some of them are pretty funny and likeable, even memorable. None of them outshine Ripley, though.
The real star here is the visual effects. They are outstanding. They still hold up even to this day, and I'm amazed at how they managed to bring all these frightful creatures to life without reliance on CGI. It makes me yearn for the old days when it took blood, sweat, tears, and creativity to get the job done. Even though the emphasis is primarily on action, there's still some pretty intense, spooky, and riveting moments, with does of that moody, unnerving atmosphere from the first.
Bottom line: this is one of the most impressive and influential sci-fi action films out there, so it is basically required viewing for fans of the genre, and people interested in great cinema in general. Both this and Alien are masterpieces in their own ways, and it's hard for me to pick which one is better, or which one I like more. They are similar, but different enough to make it unfair to really pick a favorite. Anyhoo, just see this, already, or rewatch it, whatever applies.
|Ellen Ripley:||Show me everything.|
|Carter Burke:||I made a bad call.|
|Newt:||Ripley, she doesn't have bad dreams because she's a doll.|
|Cpl. Dwayne Hicks:||It doesn't mean we're engaged or anything.|
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