Movie Review: "Cowboys and Aliens"

Note: This review contains no plot spoilers.

We went to see the highly anticipated (well, by us, anyway) Cowboys and Aliens this afternoon, despite the lukewarm review in this morning's newspaper. I don't necessarily ignore movie reviews, but I have found that I often disagree with professional critics when it comes to science fiction. Perhaps my standards are lower, or I'm more easily entertained.

Regardless, I'm glad we ignored the review, because C&A was a lot of fun, and a fine "popcorn delivery vehicle." Some have expressed skepticism about Daniel Craig's ability to portray a cowboy, but he does an excellent job, and I wouldn't mind seeing him in future such roles.

If there was a disappointment, it was the character that Harrison Ford was asked to portray. His personality was inconsistent, and a little too non-nuanced. But he can still put on a mad face like no one else.

The special science fiction effects blended seamlessly into the Old West setting, ala Firefly. (I still think Firefly and Serenity are the best-written examples of sci-fi/westerns in existence; C&A won't threaten their status in that regard.) The aliens are sufficiently icky, and not derivative of any other particular movie. There were a few humorous moments, which was good, and a few overly serious moments, which was not so good, but overall, it was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours on a summer afternoon.

Plenty of good movies coming up, based on the trailers (I know...I'm easily impressed), including the next Mission Impossible and a bumbling criminal movie called Tower Heist that stars Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, and Eddie Murphy (apparently reprising a 48 Hours-type of role).

7 Comments

Saw the flick with the wife and brother and had a good time watching this so called 'genre bending' sci-fi romp. The only thing that I wondered about is if the alien's ship was only able to camo into a western landscape.

I had a little bit of hesitation when the craft exploded. Brought back memories of the space shuttle explosion back in the 80's. The vehicle had a similar trajectory and similar explosion pattern. Eerie. I guess we are marked for life.

I liked it a lot, too. And I had the exact same thought about the alien ship/space shuttle. It kind of gave me a shiver.

I was relieved that Daniel Craig's accent was spot on and consistent. And he looks mighty fine in chaps. Just sayin'.

Just returned from the movie. I really didn't have any expectations but the wife insisted because I like westerns and she likes sci-fi. And I really enjoyed it. I like how all the alien stuff was steampunk. Made it all fit together better. But, I too thought immediately of the space shuttle challenger when the spaceship exploded and that was a little uncomfortable. How come we didn't get an Ant-rating?

In addition to the Challenger imagery, I thought another scene was super-evocative of the twin towers on 9-11. After Daniel Craig and Company scaled the side of the alien spaceship and tossed a few sticks of dynamite into the "hangar" from where the alien spaceships landed and took off, the ensuing explosion was filmed from the ground looking up at the side of the ship. I found it to be eerily similar to the news footage from 9-11.

The images that stay with me from this movie are of the spaceship's tower exploding and the spaceship itself exploding after liftoff. For me, I don't understand how two of the darkest, most photographed events in our country's history could have been referenced so convincingly in this film without the studio noticing.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on July 29, 2011 5:16 PM.

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