After ALIEN, ALIENS put the franchise on a path that it didn’t have to take. There was a path available where ALIEN 2 continues with the New Hollywood feel of ALIEN, where it explores the mysterious cosmic Lovecraftian horror of LV-426 and the alien creature, where it leans into the elements that made ALIEN such a masterpiece. Instead, like STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, ALIENS pulls the blossoming franchise into the black hole of blockbuster action films and starts what my co-host Jim Ross refers to as the franchise’s ongoing identity crisis. ALIENS is a very good action movie: solid production design, a terrific screenplay (apart from some corny James Cameron dialogue), and great performances across the board. But I mourn for the ALIEN sequels that we never got because of what this film is.

Full review available on The Xenopod: