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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cowboys and Aliens Film Review – Olivia Wilde Daniel Craig

“Cowboys and Aliens” was kind of fun to watch but ultimately this was just another shoot ‘em up action movie that plays the same old angles and recycles the usual alien film cliches.

The film is set in the post American Civil War Wild West. Jake (Daniel Craig), an outlaw, wakes up in the middle of the desert seriously wounded and suffering from complete amnesia. It turns out Jake has enemies after him like Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and along the way he has to figure out why. Sound familiar? It should. Hollywood is full of amnesia films already. Total Recall anyone? Bourne Identity? Memento? Arguably we could throw the Matrix in there too. Do we need another I-can't-remember-a-thing-flick?

While Jake is getting his wits back, outer space aliens attack the Earth. The aliens are nothign new. I can’t help but think Cowboys and Aliens just used the same space creatures from Battle Los Angeles. It seems all aliens are thick skinned and very difficult but not impossible to kill with bullets. That is unless you hit them impossbily deep in their chest cavity and then they die instantly. Aliens in both films love our natural resources as well. In the case of Cowboys and Aliens, the aliens want to steal our gold. Go figure. Not food or water or fuel but gold. Why do they want gold? Apparently it is rare on their planet too. Very exciting reason, not.

Like all shooter films there is frequent, tragic and violent loss of loved ones in Cowboys and Aliens. Ever notice in violent action flicks how close friends and family die gratuitously yet somehow in the end the victorious good guys are all smiles and celebrating? Personally, if pack of Martians came into my home and killed my friends and family I’d be pretty upset even if I managed to wipe out those slimy green creatures. Then again, if I were fortunate enough to have a case of amnesia, I might forget my dead loved ones anyway.

Cowboys and Aliens would have been better if the dialog was more interesting. There were no witty lines or zingers. A film like this needs those great, quotable lines but we don’t hear any.

Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford look great for their parts but their acting comes off too stiff and forced. I found little charisma or panache in their roles. There were a couple moments where I thought Jon Favreau had an opportunity to liven up their acting but he either wasn’t watching or amnesia fell upon his directing skills.

Olivia Wilde looks amazing but also delivers nothing while portraying alien-disguised-as-human-hot-chick, Ella (which has been done in other alien flicks such as "Cocoon"). Her part is unremarkable and forgetful, which seems to be consistant with the rest of the film anyway. Her apparent attraction to Jake (Daniel Craig) seems impossible too. Jake is easily 20 years his senior and Ella, let’s be honest, is an alien. Can’t she hook up with her own little green men?

The one character I would have liked to see more of is the priest Meacham. Meacham is played by Clancy Brown (the evil guard in “Shawshank Rendemption”). His well worn features and deep voice make for a likeable character who almost delivers the only witty line in the film.

If you have a passion for violent shooter flicks you’ll likely find something of value in this film. Personally, beyond the alien-meets-Old West theme, I found nothing original or noteworthy. This movie is kind of fun to watch but nothing I haven’t seen before.


Rated PG-13

118 Minutes

If you are looking for a much better alien film that feels more unique check out my review on this film called "Monsters" Click  Here For Review.

Here's another strang kind of Sci-Fi film that I enjoyed but I'm not sure if you would be into it. Takes a special person to like this film. :-)   Click Here For "Troll Hunter Review"

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