Aliens (Director's Cut) Review
Written by: alex1176
James Cameron's intense follow-up to Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi chiller "Alien" is one nightmarish roller-coaster ride. It's also one of the best sequels ever. Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor from the original movie. Her tough performance in this sequel garnered an Oscar nomination and while Milla Jovovich and Kate Beckinsale have inherited the role of big-screen female action hero, it's still a kick to watch the original big-bad momma.
Unlike Scott, director Cameron never slows his movie down to build a creepy, quiet atmosphere. Once the story is set, the film's pace speeds up and only intensifies as it progresses. By the end of the picture, the viewer literally feels worn out due to the non-stop suspense. Like the best sequels, "Aliens" is not a retread of the original film. It builds on the foundation of the first film and is very much it's own work. Roger Ebert said "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom" was not so much a sequel as much as it was an equal to "Raiders of the Lost Ark". I'd say the same of "Aliens". It's a very different story that packs the same wallop as "Alien" did. However, while Scott made a horror film, Cameron has made a Vietnam movie in space.
Along with Weaver, all the actors give solid performances. The standouts include Michael Biehn who plays Hicks, the marine Corporal whom Ripley connects with. Bill Paxton is effective as the annoying solider Hudson who cracks under pressure. Most will actually be glad that he *SPOILER* kicks the bucket. Paul Reiser is also good as the slimy Burke, a man who works for "The Company" and Lance Henriksen is unforgettable as the good android Bishop. The most touching performance, however, comes from Carrie Henn who plays "Newt". Her relationship with Ripley gives the movie an emotional core which the first flick lacked.
The Director's Cut includes 17 minutes not seen in the theatrical release. It includes key moments such as when Ripley is told her daughter has died and a close look at civilian life on the alien planet. Make no mistake. While "Aliens" is a very action-oriented sci-fi movie, it gives the viewer a constant feel of unease due to the twists in the script and the horror of the aliens' attacks. When Newt says "They mostly come out at night. Mostly". You'll feel nothing but chills! This is one of the best genre films of 1986.