Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Cowboys and Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens
Starring:
Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde


Rated: PG-13  For language and violence.
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: July 29, 2011 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

     I was really looking forward to Jon Favreau's (Iron Man) classic western drama combined with space aliens.   It seemed to be the most interesting premise in years.
 
       It takes place in New Mexico in 1873, where the reluctant hero (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the dessert with a big gash in his stomach, a large shackle-like bracelet on his wrist, and no idea who he is or how he got there.
 
       He stumbles into the nearest town where he mixes it up with the drunken son of Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), the bully who runs the town.   With a nasty temper, scraggly beard and raspy voice, Ford could easily slip into roles originally played by Lee Marvin or Gabby Hayes.
 
       The first encounter with the aliens takes place at night with a group of people gathered in the middle of their one street.   Eerie lights hovering above ground in a distance come closer and closer until the aliens shoot explosives at them and with the snap of a long wire, whip their citizens into the air and carry them off into the blackness of night.   Its clearly the best scene in the film. Everything goes downhill from there.
 
       Everyone who survives the attack joins forces to try to retrieve their loved ones.   One of their posse is an Indian who scouts the land looking for a sign as to the alien's whereabouts.   He gets off of his horse, goes over to get a close look at a gigantic, odd-shaped print with gooey slim on it, and reports that he thinks he's found its trail--Really!
 
       The storyline that follows the tried and true western we've all grown up with, works much better than the science fiction portion.   In fact, when we find out why the aliens came to earth, its downright silly. Also the large spaceship that houses an unending number of creatures, resembles a round apartment building sticking out of the ground.
 
       Craig is lean, mean and a man of few words, he makes a believable cowboy.   Ford is also good as the boss-man who shows he has heart at the end.   I would enjoy seeing the two of them paired up in the future in a real, rough and tumble western.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Cowboys and Aliens  C+   C+   C            B      C+ 

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