Directed By: James Cameron

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Paul Reiser

The 1979 classic Alien was such a landmark film in the sci-fi genre that many imitators and copycats followed.  It took seven years for an official sequel to be released.  By then, 20th Century Fox had hired a new director, future king of the world James Cameron, to direct the movie.  After the success of the 1984 The Terminator, Cameron decided to take a different approach to the Alien sequel.  While Ridley Scott put together a nightmarishly terrifying film in Alien, James Cameron decided to make Aliens more of an action-adventure film focusing on Sigourney Weaver’s character Ripley.
It’s been 57 years since the horrifying events on the commercial towing ship Nostromo that led to the deaths of all but one of the crew members — Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver).  The sole survivor has been in stasis the entire time lost in space on the emergency vessel she boarded before destroying the Nostromo.  Now, lots of questions are coming Ripley's way from her employer the Weyland-Yutani Corporation about what actually happened on LV-426 more than half a century ago, years before a terraforming colony arrived on the planetoid.  When an executive panel finds Ripley's testimony unconvincing, they strip her of her space flight license.

Sometime later, Ripley is visited by Weyland-Yutani employee Carter Burke (Paul Reiser).  He informs her that the corporation has lost contact with the colony on LV-426 and that they are sending a group of Colonial Marines to the planetoid to investigate the matter.  The corporation would like her to tag along with Burke and Lieutenant Gorman (William Hope) on the mission as a consultant.  While she outright declines the offer at first, she eventually decides to go.  When they get there, they find only one survivor, a girl nicknamed Newt (Carrie Henn).  They also just happen to find a hostile group of aliens that have a fetish for man flesh.

With James Cameron taking the director's chair, Aliens has a drastically different tone from its predecessor.  While Ridley Scott instills true terror in Alien, Cameron develops a survival thriller in Aliens that functions more so as an action-adventure flick.  Cameron's film is clearly a science fiction film and a damn good movie.  With innovative special effects for the 80s and some rich storytelling, he crafts a worthy sequel to the landmark 1979 film Alien.

The actors in Aliens bring their best to the table.  Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Ripley and gives a phenomenal performance as the only smart person in the movie.  Granted, she's technically old enough to be the grandmother to most of the other characters in the film.  As Carter Burke, Paul Reiser plays a slimy, detestable character quite well.  Because the aliens themselves have no personality, his performance as a backstabbing opportunist fits quite nicely into the film.  The other cast members who portray the Colonial Marines talk big trash throughout the film until they get their asses kicked by some rough extraterrestrials.  They provide a lot of laughs and some great action throughout the flick.

Aliens is a good old fashioned blockbuster that hits the spot.  It's a movie I can enjoy anytime day or night.  It's got action.  It's got thrills.  It's even got a deathmatch between a badass alien and a manned robot.  James Cameron takes the Alien franchise in a different direction, and I definitely respect it.  However, Cameron's action blockbuster is not quite as good as its predecessor.  Aliens gets a 0.03% rating.  Have some wine coolers with this one.