Film poster for Aliens

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Aliens is a 1986 science fiction movie starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser. It is a sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien. more...

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Directed by James Cameron from a story written by Cameron, David Giler, and Walter Hill, the film is more of a high-paced, action adventure film than the atmospheric sci-fi horror of the first film. It was tremendously successful, following Cameron's The Terminator in helping to establish him as a major action director. The film, like its predecessor, was shot in England, this time at Pinewood Studios, with a budget of about $18 million. The production was somewhat problematic, marred by several disputes between Cameron and the film crew, which eventually led to an all-out strike late in the production.


At the opening of the film, Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the only human survivor of the Nostromo, is rescued from space and revived after fifty-seven years in hypersleep. As she recovers, she is gradually informed of the changes that have occurred during her absence, and is dismayed to learn that a terraforming colony called Hadley's Hope has been founded on Planet LV-426 (where the Nostromo crew had its fatal first encounter with the alien). Ripley immediately fears the worst when she learns that contact with the colony has recently been lost. With her friends and family long dead, Ripley (now promoted to Lieutenant) reluctantly agrees to accompany a rescue mission sent by the all-powerful Company, acting as advisor to a squad of gung-ho Colonial Marines sent to rescue the colonists. They travel aboard the vessel Sulaco (like The Nostromo, the name is a nod to Joseph Conrad).

Arriving at LV-426, Ripley and her companions soon discover that the aliens have overrun the colony and that all the settlers are apparently dead. The rescue team soon find themselves trapped in the settlement, where they are hunted by swarming armies of aliens under the direction of their queen. Ripley eventually finds a single survivor, a young girl nicknamed "Newt", who has miraculously survived the massacre. Their mission is further complicated by Ripley's discovery that Burke (Paul Reiser), the Company representative along on the trip, is plotting to bring one of the aliens back to Earth at any cost. When Newt is captured by the aliens, Ripley must risk her own life to try and rescue the child and escape from the planet before the colony is "sterilized" by a nuclear explosion.

The story adds much to the overall mythos of the series, including Cameron's introduction of an insect-like social structure and life cycle, is notable for its portrayal of women in action roles, and also re-introduces the concept of an android character, however this time in a sympathetic role. This character, Bishop, is also the only character except Ripley (and her cat, Jonesy) to appear in more than one film in the series.


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