Cowboys & Aliens Reviews
Here's some ideas on how this film could've been great;
1) Piss off Daniel 'boring' Craig, his bronze muscles and his 14 lines of dialogue.
2) Make Sam Rockwell the lead, along with buddy, and have the movie about these two deadbeat, idiot, likeable cowboys who get swept into saving a town being plagued by aliens.
3) Fill the script with witty one-liners, tongue-in-cheek dialogue and larger-than-life characters played by audience favorites.
4) Make the aliens a little bit scary, and less like a kids scrapbook sketch.
5) Piss of Favreau and make him go back to film school for the debacle that was Iron Man 2
6) Tell Harrison Ford that he needs to stop agreeing to being in shit films (Indy 4 anyone?)
7) Speed up the whole damn show and pack more action and character into its running time.
They used to be able to make films like this in the 80's. 20 years later, Hollywood seems to have forgotten how.
I mostly blame CGI.
At this point all bets are off, and he, a doctor (Sam Rockwell), a cattle baron Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), and a mysterious woman Ella (Olivia Wilde) all decide to travel together to trace down the and recover their loved ones. There only hope is with Jake and his arm bracelet, that is a powerful weapon, and having him recall his past to aid with the origin of the alien invasion. As they travel they come across savage native Indians, and bounty hunters that all aim to kill them. They soon all come to realize they must band together despite their differences to fend off these aliens and ensure their survival.
Cowboys and Aliens is by no means an amazing film, but it has some originality to it. The blend of science fiction and western is by no means common. All the characters give fine performances in what is generally a weak story. Some of the scenes with the Indians and Jake's former crew somewhat detract from the film and do not offer enough value to the film. The action sequences and special effects of the movie are pretty good and keep the film interesting. The scenes of Jake remembering his past has some interesting moments, and ultimately keep the plot moving, but there are too many of them. The film offers some twists and turns, and does avoid some typical Hollywood clichés. Despite the fusion of genres and a solid cast, Cowboys and Aliens is not much more than your typical blockbuster film. The film has good effects, and some good action, and a solid character base, but does not build much beyond this.
Originally written July 30, 2011--
Bearing a mysterious metal shackle on his wrist, an amnesiac gunslinger (Daniel Craig) wanders into a frontier town called Absolution. He quickly finds that strangers are unwelcome, and no one does anything without the approval of tyrannical Col. Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). But when Absolution faces a threat from beyond Earth, the stranger finds that he is its only hope of salvation. He unites townspeople, outlaws and Apache warriors against the alien forces in an epic battle for survival.
I have to admit. I really wanted to like this movie. The director, Jon Favreau, directed some of my favorite movies---Elf, Iron Man, and Iron Man 2. So I was really looking forward to what I "thought" would be a classic sci-fi western. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case. It's okay, not great, but okay. In the words of Roger Ebert, one of my favorite movie critics, "'Cowboys & Aliens' has without any doubt the most cockamamie plot I've witnessed in many a moon. Here is a movie set in 1873 with cowboys, aliens, Apaches, horses, spaceships, a murdering stagecoach robber, a preacher, bug-eyed monsters, a bartender named Doc, a tyrannical rancher who lives outside a town named Absolution, his worthless son, two sexy women (one not from around here), bandits, a magic bracelet, an ancient Indian cure for amnesia, a symbolic hummingbird, a brave kid with a spyglass, and a plucky dog who follows the good guys for miles and miles through the barren waste and must be plumb tuckered out." That pretty much tells you all you need to know. Like I said, this movie isn't great, but it's okay. Three stars out of five.