An ensemble cast and crew blend together two entirely different (and yet, the same) genres to tell a story that we’ve seen before in a way that we’ve never imagined! This odd coupling of sci-fi and western works for the most part in the way in which one might expect it to. While possibly considered cheesy, the title of the film alone prepares you to accept certain elements that then seem to fit right in with the story.
Here are a couple of things that make Cowboys & Aliens fun:
- Daniel Craig, as the grisly lone anti-hero, plays the part believably and tremendously well. While not too far off from his role in the 007 films, it’s good to see him throwing punches, shooting guns, and fighting aliens like he normally does. (Wait….what??) 😉 It makes me excited for Bond 23 coming soon.
- Harrison Ford also plays the part opposite Craig expectedly well. His role is quite fitting and appropriate as the hardened, grumpy, gunslinging tycoon who never backs away from a fight.
- In an interview, Steven Spielberg stated that if aliens could have supposedly visited the ancient Egyptians and built the pyramids, then why couldn’t they visit the pioneers in 1875?! So why not make a movie about it! (that’s a paraphrase) I like that! The story is pretty interesting as the first act is as much of a mystery for the audience as it is for Daniel Craig’s character who has no memory to speak of.
- In a classic western style, the film introduces each pertinent character to the audience and lacks in little.
The same things that make Cowboys & Aliens fun, unfortunately, also make it not.
- Olivia Wilde serves as little more than her usual wide-eyed stand and stare role (I’m beginning to believe that she, Keira Knightley, and Kristen Stewart all took acting lessons at the same place).
- Sam Rockwell remained underused in a role that shifts back and forth between comic relief and just an extra character.
- Predictable and cliche with expected happenings and ends.
- Several unexplained reasons or events.
- Not truly dependent on the Alien portion of the story to make a great film. Almost could stand entirely on it’s own without the Aliens.
Favreau’s direction of the actors (backed by the likes of Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, and Brian Grazer) and his attention to detail for the time period proved to be impressive!
Cowboys & Aliens is a fun flick to watch, but as Anomalous Material stated, it could have done without the scifi. It’s my opinion that this would’ve been great as just a western since not very much depended on the aliens themselves for the story. Ultimately, Cowboys & Aliens…the same story we’ve seen in several different movies over the years, just told in a slightly different way. Worth a watch…but perhaps not more than that.
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheSp1der’s Score: 3 out of 5 stars for “Cowboys & Aliens”
up next: mini-reviews for Horrible Bosses and Tree of Life