Culture Magazine

Aliens (1986)

By Newguy

aliensDirector: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron (Screenplay) Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Characters) James Cameron, David Giler, Walter Hill (Story)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews

Plot: The planet from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Still Stands the Test of Time

Story: Aliens starts when Ripley (Weaver) is finally rescued from her hyper sleep, only to find out that she has been sleeping for centuries, questioned for her action on the spacecraft she learns that the same planet LV-426 has been colonised with no problems from any alien species.  We get to see how the colony is building on the planet which includes us watching Newt (Henn) and her family being the ones to find the alien ship.

The company representative Burke (Reiser) looks to recruit Ripley into helping them once the company loses connect with the colony, this time armed with marines led by Lieutenant Gorman (Hope). The elite unit including Corporal Hicks (Biehn), Private Hudson (Paxton), Private Vasquez (Goldstein) and Private Drake (Rolston) to mention a few is armed to the teeth ready for any combat needed, but it is the android Bishop (Henriksen) that cause Ripley the worries especially after what happened last time she was on a mission with one.

Once at the colony the soldiers find the place abandoned at first until they find Newt only to learn the truth about what happened at the base. The unit find themselves under attack from multiply xenomorphs and only Ripley knows how to fight them off.

Aliens is the sequel to one of the greatest horror movies that actually takes the film in a different direction by adding action element. This doesn’t take away anything because if the sequel had just been on one ship with limited weapons it simply would have been a remake feeling, this story feels fresh because we already know the basics of what our heroes are up against we just needed to learn how they will deal with them this time. When it comes to the story it once again is simple soldiers versus aliens in a battle to survive which all works perfectly for this classic 30 years later.

Actor Review

Sigourney Weaver: Ripley is the lone survivor from the events of the first film, she has been in hyper sleep for years. She is charged for her actions as no evidence of any alien life form is discovered in the wreck, dealing with all the side effects we get to see how she is getting on with her life again. All this changes when the company that blamed her turned to her for help on the same planet that we first met a xenomorph. When things go wrong she takes charge of the situation while trying to protect a little girl. Sigourney was nominated for an Oscar for this performance and it would hard not to praise her brilliant performance.


Carrie Henn: Newt is the little girl that was living on the colony before the attack, she is also the lone survivor once the soldiers turn up to deal with the situation. She has survived by hiding and offers the soldiers much needed advice on where to survive. Carrie is great in this role for such a young actress at the time.

Michael Biehn: Corporal Hicks has to take charge of the soldiers once his seniors become incapacitated. He will listen to Ripley and make the right decisions when it comes to fighting the xenomorphs. Michael is great in this role where he actually plays the sensible soldier.

Lance Henriksen: Bishop is the android on the mission, he is instantly disliked by Ripley but this time we only see good from the android who is willing to risk his own life to save the humans. Lance is great as this android keeping the emotionless expression throughout.

Support Cast: Aliens has a supporting cast that is mostly the soldiers who are generic in their own way along with the company man that also works for this film very well.

Director Review: James CameronJames is a director that always makes classics and this could well be his best.

Action: Aliens is filled with combat driven action which comes off very nicely in the confined spaces.

Horror: Aliens is still filled with horror of isolation on the planet being hunted down by an alien enemy.

Sci-Fi: Aliens puts our characters in space and a new planet ticking off all of the sci-fi elements to make this an action sci-fi film.

Settings: Aliens creates a larger isolation idea with the characters being trapped on a base rather than a ship with no escape from the enemy.
Special Effects
: Aliens has stunning effects that still stand the test of time.


Suggestion: Aliens is one I do feel everyone should have watched at least once in a lifetime. (Watch)

Best Part:  First meeting the aliens.

Worst Part: Depends which cut you watch, the shorter cut takes away a lot of back story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

Favourite Quote: Ripley ‘Get away from her you bitch’

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Won Two Oscars for Best Sound Effects and Visual Effects.

Box Office: $85 Million

Budget: $ 18.5 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 34 Minutes

Tagline: There are some places in the universe you don’t go alone.

Trivia: The knife trick scene was not in the original shooting script. According to Lance Henriksen, the adding of Hudson’s hand to the knife trick was discussed with almost everyone, except Bill Paxton.

Overall: Stunning sci-fi action horror that really comes off as the true classic



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