Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn and Carrie Henn
This film begins with the escape ship that Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) used to flee in the first movie. She has been asleep since the events and that’s how she is found. The official synopsis is Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?
Growing up, I preferred this sequel over the original. I have come to realize they are two different types of movies. Where the first one is all about suspense, the fear of being trapped while they are stalked by the alien, where this is one is more of an action film where they have to battle to stay alive. There is a lot of action in this one that is good, the acting to go with it is solid and these aliens are scary in how good of killing machines they are. They are extremely relentless. They are also scary in how they look. The story is also well written and flows well.
The an issue that I have with this movie is that many of the characters are walking clinches. They are marines so it is possible, but that is my only gripe. They act a little too predictable. After this recent viewing, I did find it interesting that Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn) is one of the heroes, but his character is never really fleshed out. It seems like Private Hicks (Bill Paxton) is given much more.
Something else good with this film is that writer/director James Cameron fleshes out what was built in the previous film. In that one we see how these aliens come to be, but this one really shows more. We get to the meet queen, which I thought was cool. We also see how terrifying these creatures can be on a grander scale. This one does enough of bringing back things that happen too, which I found interesting.
I do have to admit that this film does have some pacing issues in the middle. The build-up in the first act is good, all the way until they are finally attacked on the planet. It also picks up when they develop their plan of survival. There’s just a stretch in the middle that I felt it kind of just meanders. I almost feel that cutting off 15 minutes or so would have tightened this film and made it that much better.
The acting for the film I think is pretty good across the board. This film actually makes Weaver even more badass than she was in the first one. She is great. I don’t think Carrie Henn’s portrayal of Newt was bad. I just don’t think there is much to this character aside from a lot of screaming. She does play a vital role at the end, but that was just an issue I had here. Biehn despite not really getting fleshed out as a badass too. Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Paxton and the rest of the crew I thought were really good. They do all bring something to the film in my opinion that help it build to the product we get.
Some of the effects in the film are dated. I won’t hold it against the film since it came out in 1986. This is really only some of the spaceship scenes we get. The actual aliens themselves look great. They are quite strategic in cutting away from death scenes, but I think this is actually good. It allows to build suspense and to make the imagination work which can be much darker.
The score of the film is also something that I thought was really good. It definitely enhances the mood of each scene. It also helps to build tension and suspense, which is definitely a positive.
I would recommend giving this one a viewing as I feel it is a great movie. Most fans of the first ones are not necessarily a fan of this one. I would also say give it a viewing if you’re a fan of horror that is mixed with sci-fi and action films, as this is more action. I think the story builds on what was started in the previous. Not all of the characters are fleshed out, but Weaver definitely great. The effects and score were good. There are pacing issues with the film in the middle, but that’s all I have to say negatively. Definitely worth a viewing, but I will warn you that this is a long film, but worth your time.
My Rating: 9 out of 10