This is how it’s done.
James Cameron’s superb sequel to Ridley Scott’s impeccable 1979 Alien, Aliens picks up the story some sixty years later after the events took place in the first movie. Carrying the obvious weight of being a follow-up to a huge critical and box office triumph, Cameron successfully changed the pacing and all the right elements to bring the movie to the eighties, and makes the sequel his very own; Aliens matches the brilliance of the first movie, but in its own unique way.
There’s a lot to be loved here: Aliens’ roster of characters is well crafted and memorable, but this time around it’s Sigourney Weaver who steals the show with her stellar performance.
The movie is a technical marvel from the era when CGI effects were still unheard of. The universum and creatures are crafted with the best talent available at the time and give or take a few minute details, the vision of the distant future and its first rate execution still hold up well. Much to my surprise that iconic exoskeleton showdown in the end is still flawless, after more than 30 years since the movie was released.
In the time where subpar sequels were the unfortunate plague on the silver screen Cameron not only shows that superb follow-ups are possible, but that they can sometimes even match or surpass the original.