‘Aliens’: “This time it’s war”

James Cameron chose a different path for the second installment of the franchise, blowing away audiences with an all-out combat movie

'Aliens' (1986).
'Aliens' (1986).

Riding high after his low-budget success with The Terminator, director James Cameron eschewed the haunted house chills of the first Alien film and instead blew audiences away with a full-throttle combat movie - and one that is a feminist film, to boot. In Aliens, Ripley must return to the dreaded planet LV-426, where contact has been lost with the colonizers who were living there – families with children, tasked by "the company" to "build a better world."

Accompanied by a platoon of colonial marines, she must face the alien species once more, only this time there's an army of them, led by a formidable queen. Cameron's attention to detail – the script, special effects, sound design, lighting, and wonderful miniature work – combine to create what is arguably one of the greatest action films of all time, and serves to develop the Ripley character as one of cinema's most iconic heroines.

The showdown between Weaver's character and the queen alien in the final act has gone down in history as one of the ultimate on-screen duels.

'Aliens’ (1986). Director: James Cameron. Duration: 148 minutes. Format: DVD and Blu-Ray.

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