REVIEW: Great Title, Cool Idea, But Cowboys and Aliens Crash-Lands
8 March 2014
Excerpt: The B-movie marquee title of Cowboys and Aliens suggests a picture that's more irreverent, imaginative, and fun than the turgid movie that stands behind it. Rather than goosing the Western and sci-fi genres into the ring for a showdown, Jon Favreau's follow-up to the Iron Man franchise takes a pretty radical structural shortcut: Replace the Indians in a classic, mix-'em-up Western with jacked-up, gold-greedy aliens.
Excerpt: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and the supporting cast make "Cowboys & Aliens" a fun popcorn flick worth checking out. The combination of Western and sci-fi work great together thanks to Jon Favreau hitting the right tone.
Summary: If brainless entertainment is your bag, with an emphasis on brainless, then step right up, this’ll do the trick. Otherwise, this is a movie that should have been a lot more interesting than it was. It’s far from awful, it’s enjoyable enough even, but the movie never really catches on to the potential that was there.
Excerpt: Event movies rarely live up to the hype. I personally attribute the first event movie as 1989′s “Batman.” I’m sure there are others out there that preceded it and I’m not sure if there’s an official “first” event movie, but that’s neither here nor there. Yes, there are movies that have lived up to the expectations like “Terminator 2″, “Independence Day” and “Jurassic Park” and then there are others like “Godzilla” and “Armageddon” that seemed to be lost in the shuffle.
Excerpt: Ìóâè 43 ôèëüì The title carries an important distinction in Cowboys & Aliens : it’s not versus. Oh, the two sides fight, shooting, kicking, clawing, chewing, and mobbing with the best of them. What is insinuated, and is the eventual result, is a meeting of two genre hive minds, brought together with the best of intentions. Intentions only carry something so far though. The focus here is on a glossy, multi-million dollar western flick loaded with character.
Excerpt: I've never read Scott Rosenberg's Cowboys & Aliens graphic novel, but the synopsis on Wikipedia sounds a heck of a lot more exciting than director Jon Favreau's ( Iron Man ) disappointing film adaptation. Star-powered and benefitting from a nine-figure budget, Cowboys & Aliens somehow manages not to exploit the genre-crashing awesomeness suggested by its ridiculous title.
Excerpt: The Movie A cowboy (Daniel Craig) wakes up on the prairie bloody, barefoot and confused, with a mysterious contraption on his wrist. He's not sure what he's doing there or even who he is, but he does have skills that come in handy in the old west, quick with his fists and with a gun. Trouble follows him to a nearby mining-turned-cattle town, where an angry rancher (Harrison Ford) wants to settle an old score.
Pros: Actors: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown, Paul Dano, Adam Beach, Director: Jon Favreau, Audio Format/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), DTS (French, Spanish), Dolby Digital 2.0 (English Descriptive Video Service), Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, Number of discs: 2, Rating: PG-13/Unrated, Studio: Universal Studios, Release Date: December 6, 2011, Run Time: 118/135 minutes, List Price: $34.98...
Conclusion: Jon Favreau's 'Cowboys & Aliens' is an entertaining blend of two much loved film genres: the western and sci-fi. With strong performances of western archetypes, the mash-up of frontier-justice gunslingers and alien invasion disaster is far from perfect, but the story sticks to what it promises and delivers without completely going overboard.
Excerpt: Cowboys & Aliens has been in development as a film, in one form or another, for over 14 years, and yet in all that time nobody managed to turn it into a script that's worth a damn. At the very least, this film's assortment of six credited writers-- including boldface names Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci-- weren't up to the task, taking the immediately tantalizing premise of gunslingers versus space creatures and watering it down with a whole mess of plot and characters...
Summary: Director Jon Favreau's competent adaptation of the Hollywood-ready graphic novel delivers on every ounce of its one-joke premise: you'll see cowboys fighting aliens. You'll get very little else.