MOVIE REVIEW: Cowboys and Aliens
Daniel Craig teams up with Harrison Ford
I had the same feeling watching the first 15 minutes of this movie as I did with Inglourious Basterds. In that film, I wished Tarantino had just made a straight war picture, and in this, that director Jon Favreau would’ve just done a straight western and left the aliens out.
That being said, I still have no clue how they’ll stock this at Blockbuster(or if Blockbusterwill even be around in a few months).Is it a western? A sci-fi picture? Do we put it in the action-adventure section?It’s a mash-up of all those genres and instead of being a spoof, it plays it straight. And with such a wacky premise it actually works.
How could it not, when you have Daniel Craig, shedding his James Bond persona to channel Steve McQueen if McQueen would’ve done Spaghetti Westerns instead of race car movies in the early ‘70s.Harrison Ford is good as a former war hero who brings all the money into this town in 1875; he feels this gives him the right to bully everyone around.His spoiled brat son likes to drink free whiskey and fire his gun. He’s played by the Paul Dano, who has now done his third western (after this year'sMeek’s Cutoff, and the great There Will Be Blood).
Olivia Wilde is the eye candy, character actor Clancy Brown is the religious figure that’s sort of a jack of trades, and Sam Rockwell plays a similar character to the one Jimmy Stewart played in one of the best westerns ever made,The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.He’s just a hard working, but meek businessman slinging drinks and wishing people respected him.
Aside from the concept of aliens invading in 1875, instead of modern day times (or the future), a lot of this is derivative of other westerns and alien invasion pictures you’ve seen.The aliens look suspiciously like the ones in Alien.
Perhaps this movie could’ve been better, considering the talent involved in making it. There was enough interesting character development, great cinematography, and a few scares and suspenseful scenes that make this a fun summer popcorn flick.
And as horrible as Wild Wild West was when they added science fiction elements, just be glad this isn’t more 3-D garbage you have to spend an extra three bucks on.