The premise for ALIEN NATION is that a ship of Extra-Terrestrials has reached Earth and, after a strict period of quarantine, the Aliens (known as Newcomers) have successfully integrated with the indigenous inhabitants. Within a few years many hold high-ranking positions, for they are much cleverer than the average Human, yet despite successfully adapting to their environment some Humans still regard them with suspicion and jealousy.
One such man is veteran detective Matthew Sykes (JAMES CAAN). When his partner is killed by a couple of Newcomers robbing a convenience store, an action in which Sykes is lucky to survive, his new colleague happens to be a Newcomer named Sam Francisco (MANDY PANTINKIN). Together they must investigate the wealthy and well-connected Newcomer Henry Harcourt (TERENCE STAMP) in an assignment which will lead them into the seedy Newcomer Underworld involving assassinations and the addictive Alien narcotic know as Ja-bru-kha.
Despite the interesting Alien slant, the storyline for this thriller contains very few surprises. There is a car chase, the usual tension between partners who at first appear incompatible but work through their differences, and the killing of informants before they can assist the Police.
The leads do well and STAMP is sinister but sadly they are not helped by bland dialogue and by-the-numbers plot. Even the possibilities of what the Newcomers would bring technology-wise are largely ignored save for the Underworld narcotic!
On the disc is an interesting seven minute feature, some Behind The Scenes footage at less than four minutes, the Original Theatrical Trailer and three TV spots.
ALIEN NATION is not a bad film by any means and should keep undemanding SCI-FI fans happy. Unfortunately there is nothing new here and the mismatched partner bonding is fairly routine. One to watch, then, as long as we do not expect anything fresh for the Police thriller genre.