Doug's Review of Cowboys & Aliens


  • 21 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
    Cowboys & Aliens

    Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

    "Cowboys and Aliens"
    Review by: Doug Nau

    Rating: **1/2/5

    Directed by: Jon Favreau

    Produced by: Brian Grazer
    Ron Howard
    Alex Kurtzman
    Damon Lindelof
    Roberto Orci
    Scott Mitchell Rosenberg

    Screenplay by: Damon Lindelof
    Alex Kurtzman
    Roberto Orci
    Mark Fergus
    Hawk Ostby

    Story by: Mark Fergus
    Hawk Ostby
    Steve Oedekerk

    Based on the Graphic Novel by: Scott Mitchell Rosenberg

    Starring: Daniel Craig
    Harrison Ford
    Olivia Wilde
    Sam Rockwell
    Paul Dano
    Clancy Brown
    Keith Carradine
    Noah Ringer
    Adam Beach
    Abigail Spencer
    Ana de la Reguera
    Walton Goggins
    Julio CÚsar Cedillo
    David O'Hara
    Raoul Trujillo
    Brendan Wayne

    Score Composed by: Harry Gergson-Williams

    Based on the graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. The film takes place in 1873 in the Arizona Territory, a stranger named Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles on his right wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). It's a town that lives in fear, but Absolution is about to experience fear that no one can scarcely comprehend as the town is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force, with the help of the traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents-townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors-all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival. (Universal Pictures)

    While, Cowboys and Aliens is not as bad as it thought it would but still not that good either. My main problem with the film is that the title to me suggest that this is an expensive B-movie entertainment status that is not meant to be taken seriously, however after seeing the film I didn't find myself entertained as much as i thought it would be the title but feels more like they went on a straight-forward dramatic piece but ultimately falls in the ridiculously silly rather than ridiculously fun. It almost seems like the writers were not sure which direction to take with this piece, whether they wanted to play up the entertainment more or go for a dramatic A-Movie. It would have done the title justice if they had played the comedic up to another level of fun. I understand they're paying tribute to the best of both genre (Western & Science fiction) in one film but its a missed opportunity for the creative team to go beyond from dramatic to crazy fun.

    The effects are quite good especially the battle sequences and the spaceships are nicely done. Although, the so-called aliens are rather stupid in this film because there way to freaky and too big to be called Aliens the look more like freaky monsters. They could simplified the aliens to not look like creatures and add scenes with the aliens to expand their roles to give their means of aliens attack more substance to its title. The cast gives their best efforts but ultimately the characterizations fell flat mostly specifically Olivia Wilde's role is a big waste of screen time and adds nothing to the dynamics of the supporting characters. Harrison Ford is the standout performance who is the only one adds the slightest bit of entertainment in the entire film. While Daniel Craig is pretty good but his face seems to be very emotionless through most of the film.

    The Score composed by Harry Gergson-Williams is so fantastic. It has a very mysterious and eerie orchestration to give the score a melodramatic feel to the action, and uses guitars to add a balanced of whimsy to the western elements to the score. It is so well done that its quite something to listen, one of my favorite action score I've heard. The score My favorite tracks include "Jake Lonergan", "Palms to Heaven", "Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde", "Attack & Abduction", "Emmett's Close Encounter", "Jake's Army", "Godspeed", "I See them", "Return to the Cabin", and "See You Around".

    So overall, it was not nearly as terrible as i thought it could have been but still isn't that great and has its major flaws. The effects are nice in some aspects of the film mainly in the battle scenes and the Spaceships are nicely done with the exception of the so-called aliens who look more like big creatures then aliens. While I loved the Williams score is just about the only few best parts of the film, as well as Harrison Ford who takes the cake in standout performance adding the slightest bit of entertainment in the entire film. While, the story could use more work and should have played the entertainment card to a whole another level to do the title justice to what it suggest as an outlandish concept. It's worth the watch but is an unfortunate dud. I recommend you rent this movie to see for yourself.

    Work Cited
    Universal Pictures. "Plot Summary For Cowboys and Aliens". IMDB. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

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