Movie Review – “Aliens: The Director’s Cut”

The 154 minute version of this movie is a distinct improvement
over the theatrical edit.


Ripley is found 57 years after the events of the original movie. At
this point, the planet with the aliens has been colonized and
expert knowledge of the beasts is needed to assist marines in a

This movie is in a completely different genre from the original.
suspence thriller aspect is almost entirely gone, delivering a full
bore action flick instead.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

The complete cast and crew information is available from those kind IMDB

The cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Paul
Reiser, Lance
Henriksen, and Bill Paxton under the direction of James

High Point

“Get away from her, you bitch!”

Low Point

Not only do they use the same ending as the original, but you can
the thing scream when it happens. Did they not pay attention to
original’s ad campaign?

The Scores

I have to give credit for originality when a sequel
completely departs from the genre of the original. I just wish
used a new ending. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects had improved with the technology.
Some of the
alien motion looks fake, but the animatronics were wonderful for
day, and the computer technology hadn’t developed well enough
to be
used as a substitute. (Those of us who have seen Alien:
know that CGI isn’t necessarily the right
either.) The aliens looked wonderful when they didn’t need to
quickly, but there are still a few jarring moments. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The story got off to an excellent start. The first half
beautifully set up the new world, and (more significantly) showed
character who had a traumatic experience actually exhibit
psychological side effects. The politics involved with the
to retrieve the aliens were well done, giving a real sense of the
of inhuman beast the company is. The details in setting up the
marines in the drop work very well, particularly when Hicks takes
nap before landing. Unfortunately, subtlety goes out the window
the action starts, and it becomes a fairly predictable
Still, as a member of the action genre, half a great script is pretty
impressive. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting from Sigourney Weaver was excellent.
Biehn and Paul Reiser did well, but Bill Paxton just never
me. It may not be entirely him, as I’m not convinced the military
would keep a character like that around, but I never bought it
most of
the time. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced is still fairly
even on repeat viewings. The action scenes do get the
going, and the half of the movie before the action still surprises
with the attention to detail. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is fantastic. The costumes aren’t
dated; they
used standard combat fatigues that haven’t really changed, or
used minor variants on long-established fashions (such as the
collars on otherwise typical suits.) The people on the world
it was terraformed were often sweating considerably, which was
a nice
touch to remind people that, even though the air is now
the planet itself still isn’t a human world. The set design and the
lighting (including the colour filtering) was exceptional. James
Cameron may not have a lot of ideas that are entirely his own,
but he
knows how to shoot a movie. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s one of the strongest entries in the action
genre. It isn’t nearly as artistic as the original, but if you’re
looking for “flash and bang” entertainment, you could do a whole
worse. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Aliens receives 35 out of 42.

3 replies on “Movie Review – “Aliens: The Director’s Cut””

  1. Understatement

    Cameron may not have a lot of ideas that are entirely his own,
    but he knows how to shoot a movie.

    Nice euphemism.

  2. Differences from original
    The review doesn’t make very clear, IMHO, the major differences between the original and the Director’s Cut. Although they’re essentially the same movie, the Director’s Cut puts back some scenes that really round out the story, especially the part at the beginning with Newt’s parents and the discovery of the Alien ship. That part alone justifies seeing the movie again. I also remember the throwaway addition of the robotic sentry guns.

    [My comments are based on having seen the LaserDisc version of the DC about 8 years ago.]

    • Re: Differences from original

      [My comments are based on having seen the LaserDisc version of the
      DC about 8 years ago.]

      It sounds about right. I hadn’t seen the original in about a decade, and
      at the time I was watching it with a person who wouldn’t shut up
      (although, for some reason, my sister waited several months before
      she finally dumped him). I just didn’t remember it well enough to gauge
      the differences, although the packaging makes it sound like all the
      footage is in the first half that I liked so much better than the second

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