Review of the movie ‘Cowboys and Aliens’

‘Cowboys and Aliens’ is standard summer fare. The plot is a mess and Harrison Ford mails it in. On the plus side, Daniel Craig provides some fun moments. Don’t believe me? See for yourself at 123Movies.

As James Bond, Daniel Craig was referred to as a “blunt instrument”.

Brawn over brains was highlighted in the vanquishing of 007’s foes.

While there is no doubt Craig is a talented actor capable of more than just exhibiting his considerable brawn, it is also true that he is incredibly effective serving as a blunt instrument.

Following that train of thought, it is as a blunt instrument that Craig appears as in Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens.

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Classic Western Hero

Craig is a blunt instrument in a way to make the Duke or Clint Eastwood proud. He’s short on words, long on violent tendencies.

He is an instrument known as Jake Lonergan, used almost immediately at the start of the movie, disposing of a trio of wanderers intent on capitalizing on the misfortune of a lone stranger.

He continues being utilized as the ultimate anti-hero, disarming the long arm of the law as it moves in to arrest Lonergan for crimes he does not remember.

Craig is the blunt force a tiny 1870s Arizona town is going to need to stave off an alien invasion.

No Spoiler Alert

And that is no spoiler, if you have gone to see a movie called Cowboys and Aliens; you probably have a good idea what the plot entails.

Lonergan, after gaining the town’s trust, teams up with the despotic businessman Woodrow Dolarhyde, played by Harrison Ford, to track down the aliens who have just captured several members of the townspeople.

During the Chase, Favreau plays with some Western newshunttimes conventions that work only through the blunt force of Craig’s presence on screen.

Because to be perfectly blunt, Craig is the only attraction to the film, as a work of art, it just doesn’t work.

Low Expectations

To be fair, you probably aren’t going to see a movie called Cowboys and Aliens expecting something of a Shakespearean drama.

And it is fun in a bad movie kind of way.

But it is also bad for a bad movie.

Inexplicably, Ford is bad. How the man who as Han Solo and Indiana Jones personified masculinity could not portray a credible cowboy is beyond comprehension. He should have been born to play the role. Instead he seems to have mailed in this performance.

Yet, he wasn’t even the worse of it. Holes in the plot abound. The movie effects aren’t so special. Most of the acting is flat.

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In short, it is standard summer movie fare; a blunt instrument to the senses. Except Favreau has proven he can rise above that standard with his Iron Man franchise. Ford became an icon thanks to his summer roles. This should have been better, in spite of the expectations accompanying a movie called Cowboys and Aliens.

  • Cowboys and Aliens
  • Starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford
  • Written by Roberto Orci
  • Directed by Jon Favreau
  • Year 2011

Running Time 118 minutes

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