Given that the first two films stand up as sci-fi classics in their own right, director David Fincher, in his feature film debut, had a virtually impossible act to follow with this second sequel. He makes a surprisingly good fist of it, developing the maternal themes of first sequel Aliens (1986) and providing an exhilarating final showdown.
Sigourney Weaver returns as Ripley, who this time crash-lands on a prison colony where another lethal alien is let loose. A familiar cast of Brits (Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Brian Glover) provides the alien food and, while it isn’t in the same class as the first two films, it provides a satisfactory entry in the series.
Still, it would have been interesting to see what second-choice director Vincent Ward would have made of it – apparently, he was brought in when Renny Harlin left after script disagreements, but was himself replaced when it emerged that his version of the movie would be set in a monastery and the alien itself wouldn’t be appearing . . .
Warrant Officer Ripley
Charles S Dutton
Christopher John Fields