Cowboys & Aliens

I love movies of all genres.  I love a good Western.  And I really love a good Sci-Fi movie.  They’re just fun.  I remember watching the great John Wayne in the westerns of the past and thinking how cool they really were.  They’re fun movies.  And sci-fi movies are generally visual spectacles on screen and the sky is the limit when it comes to plot.  So when I first heart that Jon Favreau was going to combine the two, and he was going to get two amazing actors I thought, wow, this is a can’t miss.  But sometimes I’m completely wrong about things.

The film, directed by Jon Favreau centers on a man named Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig).  As the film opens he wakes up with a strange bracelet on his wrist that he cannot get off, and absolutely no memory of who he is, or what has happened to him.

He travels to a small mining town and winds up standing up to Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano), the son of the wealthiest and most powerful man in town.  As it turns out, Jake is a wanted criminal and is arrested.  Percy’s father, Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) comes to town to retrieve his son.  It is at this point that a fleet of alien attack drones fly overhead and start shooting and capturing people in the town.  Percy is captured, so the result is that Woodrow, Jake, and various other townspeople mount a rescue party to located the townspeople and rescue them.

Cowboys & Aliens

Along the way they encounter a group of American Indians who provide assistance.  They eventually reach the alien’s spaceship which has conveniently landed in Arizona rather than staying in space.  And the question begins will they be able to rescue everyone and prevent the Earth from being taken over by these aliens.

Ok, so let me get down to basics with this movie.  I can sum it up in one word and one word only.  And that word is “yawn”.  I was bored to death during this movie.  It’s slow paced, not enough action, I didn’t care about the characters, and I could go on and on and on.

I don’t think Jon Favreau ever had a clue where he wanted to take this movie.  It fails miserably as a western and miserably as a science fiction film.  Character development is weak and you’re basically going to watch this film and wonder why you’ve just wasted two hours of your time on it.

Cowboys & Aliens

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are such good actors, but they’re given absolutely nothing to work with here.  And it’s a complete shame because combining these two amazing actors should have paid off in spades.  To top that off we have Sam Rockwell in the film as well and Keith Carridine.  Neither of them are given anything to work with either.

I was really looking forward to this film but found it to be very lacking and extremely disappointing.  Next time guys, give the plot some thought before you pay to have so many great actors in the same film.  Quality, not quantity.

FINAL GRADE:  D

Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres

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