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Alien Nation (1988)

Released on 03 June 2002

Featuring: James Caan, Mandy Patinkin & Terence Stamp

Format: DVD | Rating: 18 years & over

3.0 out of 5 (3 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Prepare Yourself.

Thought-provoking, witty and entertaining, this action-packed blend of science fiction and police drama finds Los Angeles the new home of 300,000 humanoid extraterrestrials. When a gang of these Newcomers kills a police detective's (James Caan) partner, he sets out to solve the crime with his new partner (Many Patinkin) - the L.A.P.D.'s first Newcomer detective. But the unlikely pair soon uncover a far more dangerous threat to society...
  • Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By purchasing this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age and over.
  • Featurette
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • TV spots
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Interactive menu
  • Scene access

customer Reviews

 Average rating (3 reviews)

 A ROUTINE THRILLER DESPITE THE ALIEN SLANT!

| | See all Quiggan's reviews (166)

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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.

 Fancy Packaging

| | See all Marnico's reviews (132)

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With all it's fancy packaging this is a film is about prejudice, racism and oppression of immigrants/refugees. Substitute the aliens for any other ethnic minority amongst American WASPs and the story will work. The only reason they used aliens was because human minority races has been done. Nevertheless it's quite entertaining. It's up to you if you want to take a chance on it

 Action Sci-fi Drama.

| | See all Dirtfish's reviews (475)

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Alien Nation (1988) is a action sci-fi drama starring James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Leslie Bevis and Terence Stamp.

Set in a time when aliens have landed on Earth and integrated into society. A bigoted human Detective (Caan) is teamed up with a newcomer (Patinkin) to try and capture the murderer of his partner.

Although primarily an action movie Alien Nation also deals with racial tensions. The newcomers appear to be a metaphor for immigrants. Unfortunately the mismatched cops who originally dislike but grow to respect each other is a little clichéd even for 1988.

The acting is of a decent standard. Caan gives a solid performance even though he's not your usual action hero type. Mandy Patinkin is very good as newcomer Sam Francisco. The make-up on the newcomers is pretty good.

Director Graham Baker deserves credit for some reasonably exciting action scenes. Alien Nation was successful enough to spawn a spin-off TV series and several TV movies. Its also seems to have been an influence on the recently released District 9.

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ActorsJames Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp, Jeff Kober & Kevyn Major Howard
DirectorGraham Baker
Certificate18 years and over
Year1988
ScreenWidescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (4.1)
SubtitlesCroatian ; Czech ; Danish ; English for the hearing impaired ; Finnish ; Hebrew ; Hungarian ; Icelandic ; Norwegian ; Polish ; Portuguese ; Swedish ; Turkish
Duration1 hour and 26 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.