Can't match the first film, but still thoroughly entertains
Like the first film, Aliens is a big-top, blood-splattering sci-fi attraction. But it's much more of an action movie and less a horror movie than the first film, which is a bit of a downside for me, as someone who was stricken by the first film's subtle chills. On the one hand, there is more gore and violence than the first film, as well as a bigger budget and better special effects. But that crucial sense of dread, claustrophobia, and undying fear that we found in the first film is not present here, which is the film's biggest flaw. I also didn't think the characters were all that likable, and the script/dialogue felt contrived at times. But the special effects and sets felt better rendered and believable than they were in the first film, and the alien queen looks freaking awesome. There are some more revelations about the aliens here, and Ripley continues her character development, with a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver. Carrie Henn is excellent as Newt, with a good face, good emotional intensity, and a relatable personality. Paul Reiser was kind of hoaky as the slimy Company executive, and I kind of saw it coming when (SPOILERS!) it was revealed that he wanted the alien alive. And I thought Michael Biehn gave a flat and contrived performance that didn't really fit in. So, even there are some elements that improve upon the first film, I think I'll always prefer the dark and gothic chills of the first film. Even so, this movie is innovative and inventive in its own right, and looks even better in the extended version.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking