Cowboys and Aliens has gotten a ton of hype thanks to director, Jon Favreau. He’s been everywhere pitching the movie, even having a star-studded premiere at Comic-Con last week.
Eben thought I’m totally bitter about not being invited, I won’t let that color my review. Because I liked it. It’s not going to win any awards but the film definitely lives up to its title, delivering not only cowboys and aliens but also indians, bandits and the best performance Harrison Ford has given in years.
The film starts off with Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) lying on the ground, waking up in the middle of nowhere with a metallic gizmo on his wrist. He’s got no idea where or who he is but he’s got no time to figure anything out because he’s soon surrounded by a gang of desperadoes out to kill him. A scuffle ensues (i.e., he kills ’em all!) and, thanks to a preacher, finds his way to the town of Absolution.
In town, Jake watches Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano) bully the townsfolk, including the saloon owner (Sam Rockwell). When it’s Jake’s turn to get Percy’s rile, he doesn’t take too kindly to it, knocking him down within seconds. That puts him on the radar of the Sheriff (Keith Carradine) and Percy’s father, cattleman and unspoken leader of the town, Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), who realize that Lonergan is a wanted man.
But when, out of nowhere, several alien ships swoop through town and snatch up a bunch of townsfolk, those matters are set aside. Lonergan and Dolarhyde gather up a posse and head out to kick some alien butt.
The film does have it’s faults, particularly Olivia Wilde‘s character. She is part of a major plot twist (which I won’t reveal) that doesn’t really have any pay off or explanation. When it happens, the film seems to brush it off within moments. And in the scene, she’s naked… so I was hoping it would last the rest of the movie.
Daniel Craig is perfect in the film as is Rockwell, who gives us a crowd-pleasing moment towards the end of the film. And like I said, this is Ford’s best role in ages. This is the kind of part I want to see him in! You can’t fault him for wanting to do films like Morning Glory or Extreme Measures but come on, he belongs in a hat battling evil. Midway through the film, he gives a speech to the little boy about being a man. It maybe lasts for 1 minute but for me, that was the best part of the movie. I could watch that moment over and over and never get tired of it. For that one minute, I recommend this.