(1986)4.5Brendon HanleyFor big-budget, high-octane showmanship, Aliens (the sequel to Alien, directed by Ridley Scott) is hard to beat. While not as deliberate or interesting as the first in the series, Aliens is a wide-open visual-effects bonanza, with enough intensity and thrill for three standard action movies. Director James Cameron again proves himself more than capable when it comes to making the genre pay off. Sigourney Weaver reprises her role as Ripley, but this time she's no mere survivor, she's ready to lay waste to those ultra-nasty creatures from the first movie. She's like Wonder Woman without the skimpy clothes. The female heroine in this series has always been fascinating because of her complete ignorance of her sexuality. This is given an interesting spin at the end of this film when Ripley's goal becomes to destroy the alien eggs in their nest. A slap in the face to traditional motherhood? Anyway, too much shouldn't be read into the proceedings here. The dialogue is often horrendous, and the characters other than Ripley are little more than fodder for some impressive scenes of carnage, but this remains one of the most enjoyable action movies of the mid-'80s.