Monday, August 1, 2011

Full Review: Cowboys and Aliens

Grade: A

In 1873, just outside a small mining town in Arizona, a man wakes up in the middle of the desert with no memory and a mysterious device attached to his wrist. He wanders into the town where he instantly makes a name for himself by teaching the son of a local business man a lesson. When it is discovered that this man is a wanted criminal, he is locked up and handed over to a federal marshal to deal with. However, that night, mysterious crafts arrive in the sky and lay waste to the small town, taking many of the residents. The man, Jake, the business man who practically owns the town, Woodrow Dolarhyde, a mysterious woman, Ella, and many other townspeople decide that they must work together in order to find the taken people and defeat the alien menace.

Cowboys and Aliens is one of the better westerns in a long time. Don’t mistake this movie for something that it’s not. It is simply a western where the bad guy is different than what you’re used to, and on that level, it completely works. It is an extremely fun movie with lots of great visuals. Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Zathura) did a great job with this movie, it looks absolutely fantastic. The creature design is very intriguing and the aliens are actually very intimidating. The writers of the movie, which includes the likes of Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and more, did a great job with both the dialogue and action. This movie is based on a series of comic books of the same name created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, I have never read the comic books but after seeing this movie I’m going to pick them up.

Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Layer Cake) plays the role of Jake Lonergan, a mysterious man with a case of amnesia. Craig is an incredible actor and he does a great job in this movie. He is a lot of fun to see wandering around the old west like Yul Brynner, fighting aliens and generally kicking butt. His character has some moments that are very Indiana Jones-esque, like how he won’t let anything happen to his hat, I think they did this because of his co-star, Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones, Morning Glory) who plays Woodward Dolarhyde, a man with seemingly more authority in the small town than the local sheriff. Ford is fantastic in this movie and I feel like for the first time in a long time, he was really trying and giving this role his all. Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy, The Next Three Days) plays the role of Ella, a beautiful and mysterious woman. Wilde is great in this movie and I’m really glad to see her career taking off the way it is. Sam Rockwell (Choke, Moon) plays the role of Doc, the owner of the local saloon. Rockwell is a greatly under-appreciated actor and he is really enjoyable in this movie. The movie also features Paul Dano, Adam Beach, Clancy Brown, Keith Carradine and many more.

Cowboys and Aliens tells a very interesting and fun story and is everything you could ask for out of a popcorn flick. It is an absolute blast to watch James Bond and Indianna Jones work together to kick some alien butt. This movie has all the right twists and turns with some great characters and special effects.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. When you go to see a movie called 'Cowboys and Aliens,' you don't expect high art, and that's fine by us. But if the film itself has problems with taking itself too seriously, that spells trouble, mainly because when you have five writers that's never a good sign. Still somewhat fun entertainment. Check out my review when you can!