Director: James Cameron, Main Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton;
The extended version of this film is what Cameron really envisioned for his chapter of Ripley’s story, in other words it is a director’s cut (duh!). We discover more details about her personal history and understand better her behaviour as events unfold. The story picks up where the first movie ended (see my review of Alien here) or at least in Ripley’s time frame. In real time 57 years have passed and there are terraforming engineers on the planet where the Nostromo’s crew landed and caught a bug (pun intended!). Anyway everything was going splendidly for those hundreds of families until the Company sent them looking for something unspecified, after Ripley’s debrief and dismissal. Lost contact with the colony, the Company is sending the big guns: colonial marines. They want also Ripley to go along as a consultant and she is kind of ambivalent (no kidding!), suffering from PTSD as a result of her previous close encounter. This time the damn cat stays at home though, less casualties this way (yeah, if only!), good thinking Ripley! So we are back to chasing monsters (plural this time, as the film’s title suggests) in dark corridors but with more appropriate weapons and training, as it turns out: it is not enough. Panic-inducing close-ups of closing sliding doors, flashlights in the dark and the good, old, anxiogenic motion detector are swell companions of a well-paced story, effective action scenes and a pretty great characterisation. The body count is still off the chart but, hey, with the cat around it would have been far worse. Bonus: anything that comes out of Hudson’s mouth (Bill Paxton) is gold and Michael Biehn’s character doesn’t die. Just brilliant —8.5/10
Buy it from Amazon:
In case you like spoofs, parodies or plain logic, this is quite fun:
15 responses to “Oldies but goldies: Aliens (1986, extended version)”
i must look for this; i had no idea there was a director’s cut
There’s also the director’s cut of Alien and it’s worth watching both. Also you might want to check out the assembly cut of Alien 3, it is the closest thing to what Fincher had in mind for the film before production was hijacked by Fox executives and turned into a bloody mess (pun intended!)
well i’d love to see them all. I have a mission now. Cheers 🙂
watching the director’s cut of Alien right now. so far i can’t tell if it’s any different,
well, the differences are very subtle, it is more about editing that actual new material. If you are interested you can find a very detailed comparison here:
yes, cheers, i will have a look at that. i am happy to report that i was just as scared shitless.
yeah, I know the feeling… I have the same reaction every time I watch it.
Indeed. “Scaring Niall Shitless: The Director’s Cut” is just as intense as “Scaring Niall Shitless: Theatrical Cut” or “Scaring Niall Shitless: The Workprint”
let me know if it’s the same for the extended version or the assembly cut 😉
Totally agree with what you say, the extended cut really delves deep into Ripley’s character.
Thanks for reading Vinnieh!
I really enjoyed the extended version of the film and the movie in general. In fact, I like it so much, I refuse to acknowledge the sequels that come afterward, because I prefer to live thinking that Newt, Ripley and Hicks all make it home and become a family together 🙂
I know the feeling… I always wanted a happy ending for Ripley.