Cowboys & Aliens

   Posted by: Ami noMiko   in Movies

Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens

I’m a big B-Movie fan, so whenever a movie of the modern equivalent hits, I go to see it with hope in my little heart.  Since no one makes movies on a shoe-string budget anymore, I classify the modern equivalent as any movie that has a premise that makes you wonder, “What were the writers/director/actors thinking when they did this movie?!”

Unfortunately, I have not read the graphic novel, but my man classified it as:  a brawl between cowboys and aliens throughout the whole book, with little to no discernible plot.  Well, perhaps the comic format was not the best for this particular match-up, because the movie was AWESOME.

There is still only the most simplistic of plots.  Aliens have landed in the Old West and are stealing people… for some reason.  While the reason the aliens are there at all is explained, albeit a bit feebly, the reason for the abductions comes off as a kind of afterthought – they’re learning about us.  However, later in the movie, it’s established that they view humans as nothing greater than insects, so the extensive capturing of people seems out of place.  If that was the view, they would have caught and dissected a few of us before going, “Damn, these things are easy to kill!” and flying back to their planet to report of easy-pickings.

But plot has never been the selling point of the B-movie.  This genre leaps past gigantic plot holes and captivates the audience with an aura of “this makes no sense, but it’s AWESOME.”  And that’s just what Cowboys & Aliens does.

The movie starts out like a typical western, with a little twist.  The main character wakes up in the middle of the desert with no memory, no shoes, and some kind of metal device attached to his wrist.  Except for that little incongruity, everything progresses down stereotypical cowboy lines, right down to the bar fight.  However, right in the middle of the stare-down between the town sheriff and the rich cattle-owner (played brilliantly by Harrison Ford), alien ships fly in, lasso a bunch of people (seriously!) and fly off.  But not before our nameless protagonist’s metal wrist device seemingly turns on by itself and shoots down one of the ships.  And so, as the townspeople form a posse to go after their captured people, the main character is established as the only one who can really do any damage to the aliens.

Seems legit...

While the movie boasts great acting all around (I know, not that hard in a western, where all that is required is acting badass), the true gem is Harrison Ford.  Perhaps he realized that he needed to make up for the last Indiana Jones movie.  But he takes a reprehensible character and, so gradually that you don’t even notice it, turns it into not only a sympathetic one, but one that you’re rooting for by the end of the film.  While Daniel Craig does a great job with the main character, he’s definitely overshadowed by his co-star.

So, to wrap this up, if you’re looking for the next great piece of cinema, then skip this one.  But then, you shouldn’t be expecting such a thing from something named Cowboys & Aliens.  However, if you’re looking for a well-done, entertaining sci-fi western, this is definitely the movie for you.  I’ll be waiting for the day it’s released on DVD, so I can go right out and buy it, so that it can sit proudly with my copy of Snakes on a Plane and Doomsday.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, August 6th, 2011 at 3:02 PM and is filed under Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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