Rewatched this 1986 sci-fi-horror-action film with my 15-year-old daughters. This was part of the last batch of physical-prop films before all sci-fi was built from computer graphics. Sometimes hokey dialogue, but very impressive 'puppets'. What I found particularly impressive was the female lead, who took on the role of a kick-ass mother, fighting only for the sake of protecting others.
Aside from the occasional forced line of dialogue, it's perfect. If Alien is fine wine, this is its paired artisan cheese. At close to two and a half hours it's remarkable how little bloat there is (assuming you watch the superior theatrical cut). The archetypal impotence that lies at the heart of this film has inspired readings ranging from Vietnam War allegory to cloaked dramatization of the struggles faced by
Essentially a 'Nam movie in space, where concessions to a futuristic setting are surprisingly few (those stand collars on the suits never caught on, thank goodness) and the eerily sexual design of the first film have been lessened. But what we have is a Hollywood take on alien evisceration, an entertaining action movie with virtuoso effects. 3.5*
Non-stop action with so many alien monsters, guns and characters in constant peril that it's hard to control my pulse while viewing this intense film. It also take it's time to build up characters and the drama so that one really cares about the characters and their fate. Lance Henriksen also do the best android that has ever been on screen. A sequel that dare to be different in style and content.
In the original, Ripley just happened to be the one who managed to survive. Here, she is surrounded by incompetent, irresponsible and unlikable characters who's main purpose is to make her and a little girl look strong, which doesn't pay off well. And their survival in certain situations is insulting. Set designs are top notch but overall - given its reputation - it's an overpraised and banal cinema piece.
Firmly in my top ten films of all time. ALIENS has been a constant cultural companion since grade school. I had a beloved used copy on VHS that was on constant play/rewind in the old family VCR. Like George Romero's great zombie trilogy, this film forces the viewer to experience and consider a siege mentality. Cameron's film making prowess is on full display here as he crafts the seminal science fiction/action film.
Cameron's grasp of film craft is equally matched by his understanding of what viewers want from a "movie": story, suspense, exaltation. While Ridley's ALIEN is dark, sexy, space horror; Cameron's sequel is a rousing tale of high adventure, militaristic fetishizing and family bonding. There's a smoothness to it, how it subversively forges Ripley into the hero: at once a leader of men yet always feminine. A classic.
A noisy assemblage of hardware and gloop. The script is minimal - seemingly composed of contrived locker-room banter by unappealing soldiers - but it cuts a straight trajectory and knows exactly where it's going (back to the start in fact) navigated with gutsy confidence.