This one's worth checking out.

Cowboys & Aliens, eh? Hmm… Is this film going to be about ninjas, by any chance?

Fairly cool; flawed but entertaining

Now, without joking, I shall tell you what I thought of Jon Favreau’s awaited film-adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens, of which I’d never heard before reading a few facts about the movie before going to see it. Thus at first title made me think it was maybe going to be a comedy poking fun at things that us geeks find “cool”, like cowboys and aliens in this case. Not quite.

The film follows the inhabitants of a small mining town, Absolution, in the Wild West. One day an extraoridinary man, played by Daniel Craig, with unbelievable strength and a strange device around his wrist, is brought to town by the local preacher, played by good ol’ Clancy Brown. The man does not remember who he is or how he obtained the strange device, although shortly after fighting off the son of the wealthy Colonel Dolarhyde (the great Harrison Ford) to help out the local barkeep (Sam Rockwell), he is identified by Sheriff Taggart (Kieth Carradine) as wanted outlaw Jake Lonergan.

Jake is apprehended by Taggart, with the aide of a mysterious, beautiful woman named Ella, played by Olivia Wilde, who seems to know more about Jake than he does. Just as Jake is about to be taken away, his device starts acting strange right before a bunch of flying objects attack the town and abduct some of the townsfolk. After a fairly cool action sequence, a few of the remaining townsfolk, lead by Jake and Dolarhyde, ride out to search for the creatures that attacked their homes. They’re referred to as “demons” by the townsfolk, but I’m sure we know what they really are.

A spacecraft has been shot down by Jake Bond.

On their journey, they encounter Jake’s old band of outlaws as well as some Native Americans and eventually Jake’s backstory is fully explained by one of the characters. It is at this point in the film, where things are revealed and the aliens are explained, that things start to make less sense and it starts to lose my interest.

I thought Cowboys & Aliens was only okay. As it was getting started I liked the Wild West-esque score by Harry Gregson-Williams, I enjoyed most of the cast, I was fond of the cinematography and I liked how the combination of sci-fi and Western gave the film a cool steampunk-feel. But when the film started revealing the truth about the aliens, Jake and Olivia Wilde’s character I started asking questions in my head and the film started to lose me a bit. Can’t say the design of the aliens was anything special either.

The thing about alien-movies recently is that the aliens tend to look similar to aliens we’ve already seen, such as the Xenomorphs and the Super 8-monster, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish this film had quiet humanoid aliens and not the monstrous ones it has. I wish even more that the film could’ve told us more about them and from where they came. I like aliens that are characters and not just beasts.

Jake with the device.

I’m not saying that Cowboys & Aliens is a bad film, only that I had some problems with it. I’m not saying you should avoid it, I’m just saying that you might have the same issues that I had. All in all, it is an entertaining movie worth taking your friends or your boy-/girlfriend to if you feel like it; I’m sure many will enjoy it even more than I did. Maybe. Rangois still the best Western of the year!

Oh and I almost forgot – Mr. Favreau, you do know that all Westerns should end with the hero riding off into the sunset, right? Why did this hero ride off in broad daylight? That’s not how you do it! Er… but then again, that’s how Sergio Leone did it in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly so yeah, I’ll stop now.

3/5 whatever

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