Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens

I went to see Cowboys & Aliens last night. It was a fabulous Western/Science Fiction mix. It's definitely violent, and the aliens are disturbingly gross, so watch at your own discretion. It's rated PG-13, and I would stick to that. Don't take younger kids to see this.

The list of names involved with this movie is impressive, but I wouldn't normally care. I like a movie to stand on its own, not on names. But I think it's worth mentioning some of them this time. Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, and Harrison Ford star. Noah Ringer, the star of The Last Airbender, plays a part. There are about nine writing credits, one of which is Damon Lindelof of TV's Lost. There's a whole page of producers, including Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, and Damon Lindelof. Altogether, it's quite a crew, but Daniel Craig (known as the new Bond) and Harrison Ford really make this movie.

As for plot, don't go in expecting Inception. The plot is relatively simple, and the story is more about the characters' interactions and defeating seemingly monstrous odds. If the title intrigues you, you will enjoy the movie. If you think the title is ridiculous, you will think the same of the movie. But if you like incongruous pairings, this is an interesting one. TV's Firefly (which carries the same characters as the movie Serenity) paired Westerns and Scifi with fantastic results, despite running only one season. I guess it just goes to show that the pairing isn't for everyone, but those who love it really love it.

So, basic plot: a man (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert and can't remember anything, even his name. But he wears a strange, metal armband that won't come off. He rides into the nearest town, gets some clues about his identity, and then discovers that his armband can blast other, larger metal contraptions out of the sky. He joins a retired, surly Colonel (Harrison Ford), a band of outlaws, and a tribe of Indians to retrieve the people stolen by the gold-hunting aliens. It's pure Western fun with lots of shooting, punching, stabbing, and general fighting.

Good popcorn movie. Good romp. And Daniel Craig is an amazing specimen of masculinity, what can I say. Great casting. Three and a half stars out of five.


  1. I was a bit disappointed with this movie. Or rather, I was disappointed with the "Aliens" portion while I enjoyed the "Cowboys" parts. After spending a lot of time creating intrigue and building up the aliens, they ended up being coll-looking creatures with, I thought, overly simple and muddy motivations. Why did they keep all those people they abducted alive if they were just for experimentation? We already saw them kill others. That was never explained. Why do they want gold? Is it a precious metal? A fuel source? (I had the same issue with the much better "Avatar" and the element the bad guys desperately wanted to mine).

    It's still worth seeing, but I thought it could've been better.

  2. It's true, this movie is not the best story ever told. To enjoy it, you really can't go into it for the plot. It's all about the characters and cowboys beating up aliens, and I think the producers know that. They didn't try to explain everything because that wasn't what the movie was about. For instance, how does a huge steamboat end up in the middle of the prairie? If you care about that, don't watch this movie.


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