Cowboys and Aliens
(M) Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde
Is this film less than the sum of its many disparate parts? A resounding yes.
Jon Favreau, who recently has given us the far superior Iron Man movies, here presides over a mess of a film that, far from being entertaining or a romp, is simply a waste of time and money.
It’s certainly a case of “jack of all trades and master of none” with this clichéd, genre mash up. While the film delivers on the promise of cowboys and aliens, it delivers little in terms of coherence and story.
With a total of seven writers (all of whom cut their teeth on TV series and reboots like Lost and Star Trek) this is a production that fairly reeks of too much meddling and not enough creativity.
Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the middle of nowhere with a nasty looking manacle around one arm — something that is clearly not of this world.
He promptly offs some criminals who are circling to kill him and rides into the town of Absolution to have a preacher look at a nasty wound and to try to discover who he is.
While at the saloon, the local sheriff identifies him as a wanted criminal and sets about to put him in jail until authorities can take him away.
The film then wastes no time in introducing said aliens that attack the town and begin abducting people.
Predicably, a posse led by Woodrow Dolorhyde (Harrison Ford) and Lonergan then tracks down the town’s people and kills the aliens.
This film has top-shelf talent in Ford and Craig and a powerhouse supporting cast but they are all an assortment of Western clichés. When the point of the film is actually revealed in the third act, it’s a kind of massive “so what” moment that lets the whole film down.
Special effects are predictably over the top and owe a debt to perhaps every science fiction nasty ever put on film but, ultimately, this film is a predictable and uninspired mess.
Yes, we have cowboys and aliens for the first time in a film together, but why and to serve what purpose? Entertainment, I think not.