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Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
Reviewed on 2011 August 3
I’m not a huge sci-fi junkie, and I’m not a fan of Westerns either. It doesn’t make any sense I’d enjoy this thing as much I did, but there it is. Pass the popcorn.
A man (Daniel Craig) opens his eyes to see he’d passed out in the Western desert. He’s dirty, barefoot, has a fresh wound in his side…and what looks like a Star Wars-grade weapon firmly attached to his wrist. He has no idea where or who he is, but a little amnesia and a case of “it’s only a flesh wound” don’t impair his fighting skills. He makes his way to a little saloon town inhabited by a preacher (Clancy Brown), a drunk snot-nosed punk (Paul Dano), and a mysterious woman named Ella (Olivia Wilde) who seems to know who he is.
The man finally learns his name is Jake, but beyond that he doesn’t have a clue as to his past, though the gadget on his wrist turns out to be more useful than he’d anticipated. The town is being attacked by aliens, and they don’t come in peace. Jake may have a rough past, but he’s not going to let these monsters tear up this town.
Director Jon Favreau kept Executive Producer Stephen Spielberg from getting too Spielbergish here, and it paid off. Daniel Craig did a wonderful American accent, plus I think mixing Craig and Harrison Ford is like mixing chocolate and peanut butter. Even Olivia Wilde’s “I haven’t much to do so I’m just going to stand here a lot and look good” character makes sense as it unravels. The movie doesn’t waste a lot of time with explaining things, but the biggest questions are answered, and best of all, there’s none of that “they’re kicking our butts ’cause they’re ALIENS!” crap. These monsters actually have a purpose. Get some snacks and enjoy.
Three chocolate morsels.