54. Cowboys and Aliens

After reading a barrage of terrible, heinous, and scathing reviews I was hesitant to see Cowboys and Aliens, but over  a rainy Labor Day weekend I broke down and my curiosity got the best of me.  Perhaps it was due to my low expectations, but it really wasn’t that bad…I actually enjoyed it!

Directed by Jon Favreau (Swingers, Iron Man 1 and 2), Cowboys and Aliens stars Daniel Craig as Jake, an amnesiac cowboy who wakes up in the desert with an alien blaster strapped to his arm.  He wanders into a nearby town to gather his whereabouts and meets a smokin’ hot cowgirl named Ella (Olivia Wilde) but instantly finds trouble with an inept and reckless cowboy named Percy (Paul Dano), the son of a powerful rancher named Woodrow (Harrison Ford) who always bails him out of trouble.  After Percy shoots a deputy on accident and Jake is penned for a gold robbery, they are both arrested and ready to be sent off to federal custody until a pack of alien ships attack the town.  After Jake discovers the powers of his mysterious blaster and many of the townfolk (including Percy) are kidnapped, the humans unite and ride off into the desert to rescue their friends and get revenge.

The cowboys encounter a pack of wild Indians who are also ready fight some aliens and are also willing to help Jake piece his puzzle of a past together.  Jake then remembers being kidnapped with his wife and later escaping from the aliens.  As Jake leads the crew back to their headquarters, Ella (who turns out to be an alien herself) informs everyone (after she dies and is resurrected in a fire?) that the aliens are mining for gold .  From there, it is hand to hand combat as the nasty aliens take on Woodrow and the rest of the humans while Jake and Ella venture inside to save the captives and destroy the mothership.

Jon Favreau obviously knows how to effectively execute a huge blockbuster film (see: Iron Man) and with two of the biggest stars on the planet in Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford it is still a challenge to get over the hump of a plot based on…well, cowboys fighting aliens.  While Craig is a stone cold bad ass and Ford delivers some deadpan lines (I actually wanted more of these) which only he can get away with, there is non-stop action and fluid character development throughout the film.  Tons of explosions, creepy aliens (I screamed out loud twice), and crazy special effects are just enough to carry a ridiculous but fun story over the finish line.

The survey says…3.5 stars out of 5 for over-indulgent summer fun.

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Categories: 100 Films

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2 Comments on “54. Cowboys and Aliens”

  1. September 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Hahaha, “alien blaster”.

  2. September 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    this movie was awesome, i was pleasantly surprised. love me some harrison ford.

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