This might actually be taught in Texas history books.
Amnesiac gunslinger Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) stumbles into the Wild West town of Absolution, where he’s confronted by potent enemy Col. Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and a terrifying problem: invading aliens. Aided by the lovely Ella (Olivia Wilde), Jake rallies a posse of the townspeople, Dolarhyde’s minions and local Apache warriors to fight off the extraterrestrial threat.
I’m not going to lie, when I first saw the trailer, I actually kind of thought it was totally dumb and the title itself had me chuckling. But then I saw who was involved, so my opinion changed. So here I’am telling that the title isn’t such a let-down after all.
For the most part, this film has a pretty bangin’ premise that and the action that goes down is all pretty well-done, which is a lot of thanks going to director Jon Favreau for that. He knows how to make an action sequence look good and the effects just look great. It’s always good to watch a film and not actually be able to tell what the real effects are, and what the fake ones are too.
However, when it comes to the writing, it doesn’t seem like they were all on the same page and when I mean “they”, I mean the five people that actually wrote this script together. Here and there we have a couple of amusing one-liners but too much of it just feels cheesy and nothing new we have seen before. When you watch this film, you don’t really think you need five writers to come up with something cool, like, say if a dude walks into a bar with this blaster on his hand. I could come up with 100 things that would be cool to come up with but the film just doesn’t and instead seems like nothing new.
This film also takes itself way too seriously, which in some cases isn’t so bad, but honestly when you have a film about cowboys and aliens duking it out, you can’t really expect people to want characters talking as if they just got of an episode of All My Children. I was expecting a lot of fun, wild, and crazy things to happen here but instead I just got what I’ve been seeing in every action blockbuster that has come out each and every Friday. I like a lot of those Summer blockbusters but come on, is this the best they could come up with?
Daniel Craig knows what to do when it comes to beating the shit out of people, but his performance as Jake Lonergan isn’t totally as memorable as it could have been. Craig in this film is channeling guys like Eastwood and John Wayne, where he lets his actions do the talking but the problem is that I actually wanted this guy to talk more so I could care about him. I mean just for him to spout a one-liner would have been cool with me but to just have this dude stand there, beat the crap out of people, and say nothing after it’s all said and done just kind of bothered me since Craig could have brought so much more to the table.
Harrison Ford is alright as the kind of good guy, kind of bad guy role as Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde. Ford still has that signature old deuche-baggery act to him but it doesn’t seem to work as much as it used to and I think he should start doing some different stuff because it seems pretty laughable. Olivia Wilde is alright but is way too hot and sexy for this film, which isn’t to say anything bad about her performance it’s just that in a place where all these dudes are constantly dirty and sweating, to have a chick look like she just got out of a commercial for Loreal looks a bit dumb. Sam Rockwell is pretty good here and stands-out the most because he has that comedic timing that always seems to work.
Consensus: Though it promised so much more, Cowboys & Aliens has some good action sequences and gives us what we see in the title, but suffers from writing that doesn’t bring anything new to the table and brings us constant cliches, bad one-liners, and an overall feel of disappointment because we know this could have been so much more wild than what we got. You got Han Solo and James Bond loading up their guns looking to shoot some aliens, how hard could it have been!?!?