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Cowboys & Aliens

July 31, 2011

Ella: You don’t remember anything?

You would think that a film titled Cowboys & Aliens would be something great, right? Well guess what, It’s not. I think that’s a good way to start. This film is a nice try, and would be much better if it wasn’t so dull. Despite it’s dullness, it’s also expected that with big named stars such as Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, it would be something great. Again, it’s not. It’s disappointing when a great premise falls short of expectations because there are very few action sequences and not enough originality. Having this in the top three of my most anticipated films of the summer, I couldn’t believe how this film didn’t deliver. There are brief moments of entertainment, and Craig is very good with Ford, but that can’t save the dullness that is presented during Cowboys & Aliens.

The movie begins when Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the wild west, without any recollection of who he is or where he is. As a group of thieves attempt to subdue Jake, he acts quickly, beats them up, and goes to a nearby town. There he meets the mysterious and beautiful Ella (Olivia Wilde), gets beaten up, and gets arrested along with Col. Dolarhyde’s (Harrison Ford) son, Percy (Paul Dano). When it becomes nighttime, Jake and Percy are both arrested and in a wagon until something appears, something bright, and something dangerous. As we find out that it is aliens, Jake figures out a way to destroy them, with his powerful wrist metal attached to his wrist. Soon after, Dolarhyde, Jake, and many others set out on an adventure to rescue their taken ones and take care of the unknown creatures.

As I previously stated, this movie is very, very dull. I can go on forever about what makes it dull, but I’ll stick to the basics here. We have a film, called Cowboys & Aliens, that could be something really great, something that people want to take there friends with and tell everyone about how awesome it was. I’m aggravated because that is precisely what I wanted my experience with this film to be, but I’m finding myself telling my friends how unfortunately bland and boring this film was, and thats not what’s supposed to happen with a blockbuster summer flick. Okay, enough with that, I have to say my biggest beef with this film was the pacing. 

The pacing in this film is beyond bizarre. I have no idea what went on during the editing process, but it sure as hell didn’t do the film any good. What I’m trying to say is that literally nothing exciting happens. It’s all “been there done that” with the whole alien plotline, and even the aliens aren’t original, they look like a worse version of the aliens from District 9 (which is a brilliant film, if I may add). We also have two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and they can’t even do the film good, but they are the redeeming aspect that make this film worth anything. 

The acting in this film is one of the only redeeming factors about it. With the two leads, we have sort of a James Bond meets Indiana Jones type crossover, which would be very fun to watch, if there were more scenes with the two of them actually teaming up and kicking ass. Olivia Wilde does more than just be eye candy in this film, and delivers a great performance, much better then her horrible Tron performance last year. We also have fine performances from Sam Rockewell, Noah Ringer, Adam Beach, and Paul Dano. 

The film was directed by Jon Favreau, who has given us great films like Iron Man, and starred in great films such as I Love You, Man and The Break-Up. I had high hopes for this film, he had a large budget, a large cast, and everything to make a great movie. What went wrong here? I think he is responsible for the pacing problems, and despite his best attempts, does not deliver the summer goods. I do appreciate the brilliant cinematography shown during this film, that really captures the essence of the west. 

So there you have it, the first and [hopefully] only dud of summer 2011. Cowboys & Aliens does succeed at being very dull, very unoriginal, and very boring. There are very few redeeming qualities but certainly not enough to change the final outlook of the film. Despite the negativity, Craig and Ford are quite good in there roles and are one of the best qualities of the film. But in the long run, Cowboys & Aliens isn’t even worth a plane-ride watch. 

Cowboys & Aliens = 1 ½ out of 5

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