James Cameron took the reigns of Alien from Ridley Scott for Aliens, a sequel that perhaps could be used to define a great sequel. Aliens takes the brilliant approach of modifying the genre of the first film from a straight horror to action horror. I know some just say straight action but that undercuts the sequences, so expertly crafted by Cameron, that are so genuinely unnerving. It has to be said that this easily Cameron's best screenplay. Cameron takes off what was previously established in the first film and brilliantly builds off of it in new directions through the introduction of the space marines including a far less deceptive robot, as well as in terms of expanding the xenomorphs through the addition of a Queen. The success of the writing goes beyond concepts though. There is so much life in the well drawn characters with so many unforgettable lines throughout. It is also worth mentioning, which so many seem to forget, is the film builds Ripley's arc from sole survivor to true hero in such believable and effective fashion, aided of course by Sigourney Weaver's great performance. Of course the whole cast is great, including the sometimes derided Bill Paxton who deserves all the credit for his "game over" adlib. There is such a vibrancy in the characters, that some actually went onto define a certain types in later films, like Jenette Goldstein's Private Vasquez. The action and the effects both come together, yet never for a moment do they override the emotional connection to the characers. The film is one of the best sequels ever made as it successfully takes the franchise in a new direction into a different genre while making an almost equally captivating film in that alternate genre.