Somewhere in Hollywood, some guys for together and pooled up enough money to get both Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in the same movie, and offer them both enough so neither would ask what the movie was about. Then these guys called a bunch of other actors, none of them particularly well known, and asked them if they would like to be in a movie with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. Of course, the only catch was they all had to wait until they signed a contract
before they found out what the movie was about…
“Cowboys and Aliens”
Wait, wait, hear me out, please, come back, no, really, I wasn’t kidding, no, really.
Imagine the Terminator saying, “Happy trails to you.”
The last western I saw and liked was “The Quick and the Dead” but only because I once thought Sharon Stone was beautiful and not a bad actress all. Then I saw “The Muse” and that ruined Stone for me, forever and ever. On the other hand, give me a movie with an alien and I’m pretty much hooked. I like Sci-fi. And really, if you are ever going to sit down and watch a movie and have some pretty low expectations, “Cowboys and Aliens” will pretty much fill that space in a hurry.
The story is set in the old west, post Mexican War, and there is a dying little town with a petty cattle baron running it. A mysterious stranger shows up with an odd bracelet he can’t take off, and the two forces collide. Just as the battle is about to begin, Aliens show up with lassos and all hell breaks loose.
Don’t worry about any spoilers because this is “Cowboys and “Aliens”.
Harrison Ford seems lost in the movie. He never truly steps into his character and he would have been a good match for the part. But his acting isn’t what it could be, and that’s a shame, because believe it or not, the movie isn’t half bad.
Daniel Craig plays his character wonderfully, as much as he can, and Olivia Wilde of “House” proves she can step away from 13 and play with the big boys. These two have some chemistry, and there is a dog and a kid. You can’t go wrong with a dog and a kid, usually, and somehow, you always expect the dog to be an alien, but that never happens, and I thought that was clever.
“Cowboys and Aliens” is a gutsy attempt at the juxtaposition of Wild West and Sci-fi that hasn’t been tried since “Serenity” came to the scene, and that in fact was a good movie, in my opinion. But this took us back to the west, not forward in time, and at one point, after a chase scene that bordered on the truly absurd, Craig’s character says, “We were flying!” and you remember that we humans didn’t start that until much later and that also, was a nice touch.
Generally speaking, interaction with Aliens capable of intergalactic travel will not look like “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” or anything else we imagine it will, and it will very likely look like all of that, too. “Cowboys and Aliens” is a fun little movie for those of us who like this sort of thing, and I’m betting most people will like it a lot more than they will admit to. Craig carries the film, but Wilde is more than just a pretty face, and the Aliens look scary as hell, kinda, sorta, okay. Cowboys and Aliens delivers above the expectations, not that you would be surprised either way.
Oh, and Wilde in a prairie dress with a six gun strapped to her hip? Priceless.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.