Aliens movie poster
  • Rated R | 1 hour, 17 minutes

Literally, Alien in plural. Where the 1979 forerunner was guilty of being overproduced for the scope of its action, the sequel comes near to filling every available inch. "This time," as the ads say, "it's war." But there is cheapness of a type, too: the deceitful sort of fright that turns out to be just a bad dream; the innocent tap on the shoulder at a moment of high tension. But for every such cheap thrill, there is a hard-earned one to balance it, and all in all there is an overload of both. The alternately exhilarating and exasperating finale, with the heroine and sole survivor of the first film donning a sort of robotized forklift as a suit of armor, is a tidy summary of plusses and minuses. With Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, and Lance Henriksen; written and directed by James Cameron. 1986.

Duncan Shepherd

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