Alien Nation

Starring: James Caan, Mandy Patinkin & Terence Stamp
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment


Certificate: 12
Available now

The Newcomers arrived on a massive alien slave-ship but many of Earth's inhabitants treat the refugees from another planet as inferiors despite their intelligence and highly sophisticated culture. Los Angeles cop Matt Sykes is just one of many of the city's inhabitants that feels that way, a bigotry that intensifies when a Newcomer kills his partner. But Sykes 'speciesism' is challenged when he gets Sam Francisco, the first Newcomer detective in the LAPD, as his new sidekick...

Alien Nation could have been a routine cop movie with a dumb alien twist - what is actually achieves is a little more interesting. The Caan/Patinkin duo make for a highly watchable comedy-thriller pairing although the drug runner plot involving Newcomers is handled in a perfunctory way which makes its moral complexity into a dull two-dimensional issue.

Terence Stamp's social-climbing Newcomer acts as an interesting mirror on human excess but the overall package is just to simplistic to work to its full potential although it did give rise to an entertaining and well received TV spin-off.

Anthony Clark

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