Cowboys & Aliens – Review

Cowboys & Aliens* – A Movie Review

We decided to blow off work one evening (meaning we left work at 6:45 instead of staying until midnight) to go see Cowboys & Aliens. We first heard about this movie at the Victorian Ladies’ Sewing Circle we hosted at SteamCon II in Seattle in November 2010. It was a joke at the time and all in attendance had a good time speculating on what the movie would hold for us and whether it would be entertaining or not. The general consensus was that with James Bond (Daniel Craig), Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) AND aliens, it would definitely entertain.

Having never read the comic book, we had no real idea what to expect. The movie poster alone was encouraging – yes we also judge books by their covers – as it reminded us of a good old-fashioned Western poster. We armed ourselves with summer movie must-haves, a large popcorn with double butter and a drink, found our seats 1/3rd of the way to the front and got comfortable.

The movie started in typical Western fashion with a man in the wilds alone being suddenly confronted with a posse of bandits thinking they had found easy prey. That’s when a hybrid of Jason Bourne & Frank Martin takes over Daniel Craig and we get the start of the action and learn our lone stranger is kind of a badass. He soon turns into the stereotypical new guy in town who stands up to the powers that be without guessing the consequences. We looked forward to meeting the big boss, but were honestly disappointed by Harrison Ford’s portrayal of the big bad business man who runs the town. The descriptions levied by the other characters left us hoping he would be tough as nails and a lot grittier than we’ve seen Ford in recent films, but alas, he was more crotchety old geezer and less ruthless money man.

While K’s beau may never forgive us for saying this, Olivia Wilde was disappointing and her acting was flat. She basically served as a way too convenient plot device. The aliens were cool when they showed up zipping through the skies torching everything in their paths and grabbing victims left and right, but once we got a look at them they were stereotypical at best.

A lot of the plot was contrived and laugh out loud ridiculous, but it did actually make us laugh out loud and so wins some points because of it. We enjoyed watching Daniel Craig (excuse us, but he IS rather beautiful to look at) and we like movies that are anachronistic. It definitely falls into the Popcorn Flick category, which isn’t a bad thing in our book. It was an enjoyable way to spend an evening but we probably won’t rush out and add it to our DVD collection when it becomes available.

*Cowboys & Aliens (2011, DreamWorks Pictures) directed by Jon Favreau.

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