Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens has been hyped as a summer blockbuster for over a year now and with its opening weekend barely beating out The Smurfs, many film goers may be wondering if it’s worth seeing. To start things off, the film is directed by Jon Favreau who garnered a lot of success with Iron Man. Unlike Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens is not a superhero movie. However it does combine that sense of an action movie done well with a cast of excellent characters. Daniel Craig certainly isn’t Robert Downey Jr., but he nails the role of an American cowboy perfectly. There are a long line of western films and a deep heritage of actors and character portrayals that precede this film, and Daniel Craig’s character fits in with the best of them. But the James Bond star is not alone and is supported by a great cast.

Among the supporting cast is none other then Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford. Ford’s role in this film doesn’t hold any similarities to the smuggler in Star Wars, but his portrayal of a western cow baron was a refreshing return to the big screen. The film’s leading female, Olivia Wilde, also did an excellent job. Her role played a substantial part to the plot rather than just an eye candy role like what was done in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. There was a strangeness to her character at first, but it plays out well in the end. Smaller parts went out to actors like Clancy Brown, famous for playing the Kurgan in Highlander, Keith Carradine, and Adam Beach (Windtalkers), all of whom bring a strong personality to each of their roles and ultimately provided a wide range of character for the film. To round things out it’s also worth noting Paul Dano’s role as Harrison Ford’s son. Paul Dano did an excellent job in There Will Be Blood, and here he does an equally superb job. Once again he plays a character with qualities easily despised and Dano seems to know exactly how to push those buttons to get on the viewers’ nerves making himself the perfect heel.

Aside from the acting, Cowboy & Aliens delivers with a good dose of action. No western is complete without some good old fist fights and gunslinging, and Jon Favreau does not disappoint. On the sci-fi aspect, there are explosions and lasers, spaceships and alien warriors. Yet Cowboys & Aliens is a mixing of both genres so don’t expect 3:10 to Yuma or Independence Day but something that does a little bit of both. There are no spaceships blowing up the White House or major cities, and the gunfights by themselves won’t rank in the top ten. Regardless, the special effects are very well done. The spaceships look realistic and have a little bit of western feel to them as they fly through the air with streams of black smoke coming off them. The aliens aren’t the best designed creatures, but they do their part and it’s hard to top all the aliens that have come before them.

The real accomplishment of the film is the mixing of the genres. Jon Favreau did a good job of capturing both the feel of a western and sci-fi movie without creating anything campy or out of place. The scenery, actors, and story flow together with a parallel alien invader plot, and it just works. It might not be a greatest western or a greatest sci-fi movie, but by taking both genres on a joyride, it makes a fun movie that is worth seeing. It’s not a deep movie, but it’s very enjoyable. If you like westerns and sci-fi movies, then this is a no-brainer. I give it a respectable three out of five metal bikinis for fun and entertainment. By tackling several aspects, it fails to be the best at any of them, but instead succeeds at being good at all of them.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot

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