Alien Nation (1988) from Tuna

Alien Nation (1988) is a cop/buddy/SciFi film that takes place in the not to distant future. An alien race genetically engineered to be able to adapt and work anywhere in the galaxy becomes stranded on Earth, and LA is trying to assimilate them. 
There is, of course, a lot of bigotry and prejudice against the "newcomers", especially since they are stronger and smarter than humans. LAPD detective James Caan agrees to partner with a newcomer to catch his former partner's killer (also a newcomer). Once you get past the make-up, which I think was done well, it is basically a "catch the badass druggies" movie, with Caan and newcomer Mandy Patinkin learning to like each other. 


Leslie Bevis as an exotic dancer has good see-throughs, and partial breast exposure. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1

  • behind the scenes clips

The set-up is very promising, and the performances by Caan and Patinkin are good, but the film doesn't live up to its potential, although it spawned a TV series. The film is dark throughout, so it is fortunate that the transfer is a good one. It crosses several genres, and is watchable, but less than great.  

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 2/4, Maltin 2.5, Apollo 73/100

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 14% positive reviews, 17 articles on file.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.1, Apollo users 54/100 
  • With their dollars ... it wasn't a smash, hit, but it took in $25 million domestically 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics - or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+.

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