Movie Review: Cowboys and Aliens

Posted: August 12, 2011 in movie reviews, movies
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have you ever ordered a chicken taco, and in return you get a taco shell with chicken inside it? Then you think, I know it’s what I ordered; I was just expecting something more? That’s how I feel about Cowboys and Aliens. Yes, I got a movie about cowboys and aliens, but I was just expecting…more.


Cowboys and Aliens

Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Adam Beach

For reasons that made sense at the time, I saw Cowboys and Aliens twice.  The first time I saw it, it was a disaster. Okay, it wasn’t a disaster, it just didn’t have what I was looking for in a movie. Think of it as what you look for when searching for a mate, sometimes on the surface  he (or she) looks cool, and exciting with interesting elements but once you dig deeper, you realize there IS nothing deeper. The second time I enjoyed it better because basically I knew what I was getting, but still there was something missing and I think that thing was charm. The second time I like it a bit better, but it still has a lot of issues mainly with sloppy storytelling and no character development.

Premise: Aliens attack a bunch of Cowboys. Really…that’s it. Okay, I’ll give you more. Aliens attack a bunch of cowboys and steal the loved ones, all the while a criminal man, Jake (Daniel Craig) shows up in town with no memory of who he is or why he has a weird alien-like contraption on his hand. Together, with some of the town folk, Jake sets out to track down where the aliens came from and also fill in the missing pieces.

My Review: I’m a big fan of alien movies. I’ve never been that big of a fan of westerns, but when I heard about Cowboys and Aliens I was kind of excited. And I don’t know why, but I pictured it to be along the lines of something like this. Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but it’s kinda classic, with cheesy charm, yet still entertaining at the same time. Does that make sense? Cowboys and Aliens had no charm.

Daniel Craig has everything you want in a male lead. He’s got the looks, he’s got the body, he’s got the presence, he’s got the acting chops, and as James Bond he had a lot of charm. However, he seemed to be missing the charisma in this movie. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t love him either. I rooted him because I was supposed to, not because I wanted too. The secondary characters with possibly the exception of Harrison Ford’s character were not very well developed either. Sam Rockwell was the plucky, comedic relief sidekick, Adam Beach was the loyal sidekick, and Olivia Wilde was the mysterious bombshell sidekick. I usually like Olivia, but in this movie she fell flat.

So who’s to blame when you have a movie that looks good on paper, but fails in execution? Two words. Jon Favreau. He needs to pay more attention to the acting and the character development rather than the action. Sure that’s important, but if you don’t care about the characters, it’s all just noise. Plus there’s a *spoiler alert* twist that I TOTALLY CALLED from the trailer. Not cool, Mr. Favreau!  Now pardon me while I go watch cowboys vs. dinosaurs.

Rating: 2 ½  Stars



  1. Artstemt79 says:

    You obviously need to read the book.. there’s so much more to this story than you saw on the screen.

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