Picking up where director Ridley Scott left off with 1979's Alien, James Cameron's Aliens substitutes fast--paced action and big-budget pyrotechnics for the original's claustrophobia and mounting sense of creeping dread. Given that Aliens was released in the mid '80s, arguably the peak of the Hollywood blockbuster action movie, this substitution isn't so surprising. What was unexpected was the degree to which the sequel succeeded in recapturing the magic of the first installment. Though the series would grow increasingly ridiculous in future installments -- as it expanded the Alien mythology to include cloning, double Y chromosomes, and Winona Ryder -- this 1986 sequel provides an object lesson in how to build on a good thing. The Academy agreed, bestowing a Best Actress nomination upon star Sigourney Weaver.
While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor from the original ALIEN, is awakened after 57 years of drifting through space, her stories disbelieved by Company executives who tell her that the alien's planet...
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