STARRING: James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp, Kevyn Major Howard, Leslie Bevis, Peter Jason, George Jeneky, Jeff Kober, Rober Aaron Brown, Tony Simotes

1988, 94 Minutes, Directed by Graham Baker

Description: They get drunk on sour milk. They have two hearts and bald, spotted heads. They're highly intelligent, but if you drop them in seawater they'll melt into a puddle of goop. They're "Newcomers," and they arrived as refugees in a massive alien slave-ship, quarantined for three years and then reluctantly accepted as citizens of Earth. To some humans--including seasoned Los Angeles cop Matt Sykes (James Caan)--the Newcomers are unwelcome "slags." Sykes's own virulent "speciesism" intensifies when Newcomer thugs kill his partner, but he sees logic in teaming up with Sam Francisco (Mandy Patinkin), the first Newcomer detective in the LAPD. Francisco's Newcomer knowledge is vital to their investigation of an alien drug ring, and a friendship grows from life-or-death circumstances. -

Interesting concept (that of aliens crash-landing on Earth and being assimilated into human culture) is given the most superficial of treatments.

This is a straightforward buddy cop movie with a few science fiction elements thrown in. It could have been a lot more interesting than it turned out to be, but instead one sits through the entire movie counting off the clichés.

(Alien Nation later spawned a television series of the same name that also didn’t seem to transcend the buddy cop movie genre despite playing around with a few of the possibilities that the full-length motion picture offered, but never pursued.)


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