I assume most of you while growing up (if you were male at least), played some form of cowboys vs indians with your fiends. Why not? Violence is fun, and team sports are fun. Of course there is a lot of other versions of this game, Cops vs Robbers, pirates vs ninjas, terrorists vs anti-terrorists or even Texas vs Mexicans.
Cowboys & Aliens tries to take the rivalry concept a step further, by having a clearly more advanced side (instead of relatively even sides (ignoring pirates vs ninjas (go pirates) ) ). Also technically this could just be a rewording of Texas vs Mexicans, but that came out after this movie, so it isn’t thievery.
Picture: Not a fair fight.
The movie opens with Daniel Craig lying in the desert, alone, and thankfully fully clothed. Sure, he doesn’t remember anything, and he has a weird device on his arm, but at least he has clothes. Eventually he finds a town, and apparently he is a wanted outlaw. Despite still being confused, turns out he can kick an ass or too, assuming that ass is male. Because out of no where Olivia Wilde fucks him up (with a cheap shot) and he gets thrown in jail.
At the same time, far away, Harrison Ford is all upset about missing workers and dead steer. Bright lights? Sounds like bullshit to him! He goes to the town though hearing that Craig is there, and he wants to punish him himself, as he stole his gold! Conflict happens in the town, fighting over prisoners. But then! Bright lights (See above picture) and explosions! Thankfully his mysterious arm attachment can create its own booms, and they don’t get obliterated or all captured.
They make a posse to go get those aliens (try to follow their tracks), to free the hostages and you know, figure out what the hell is going on. Oh yeah, Sam Rockwell plays a doctor too, and I am pretty sure this is the only movie where he doesn’t dance.
But how was it? Visually it was good. Nice CGI, nice desert contrast to go with the explosions. Craig and Harrison both go through character transformations in the film, so by the end you like both people, so that is good. Olivia Wilde felt out of play the whole movie though. Seriously, if you looked at a picture of all the cast and her, you’d just assume she was an alien.
Or at least the nakedest one.
Plot is very straight forward, but I didn’t find it engaging enough. Sure, I would have liked better answers for some things. I believe I am told why they are there, and why they captured some humans, but that why isn’t explained at all. Just makes them seem like a nuisance. There is a lull in a lot of the action scenes with aliens, because there are other threats out there (Indian tribe, the outlaw gang) etc, but nothing between them really escalates or feels threatening, because we also know there is damn aliens out there! People won’t kill other people if they can help fight aliens, just a fact.
I thought most of the acting was bad. The realest people to me were random extra outlaw members. The story overall never grasped my full attention and care, so although I thought some parts were cool, it fell flat for me in a lot of other places.
2 out of 4.