Sigh. Cowboys & Aliens. I don’t even know how to muster the energy to write about this movie, honestly. Is it terrible? Not at all. Is it entertaining? Mildly. Why, oh why does “MEH” have to be the only word I can come up with to describe this useless flick?
The film opens with what everybody already saw in the trailer, which is the walking sex that is Daniel Craig, awaken in the desert, all alone and amnesia-ridden, wearing some nifty bracelet that is most certainly related to extraterrestrials. He wanders into your typical western town full of dirtbags, some guys start shooting, some aliens arrive (in a pretty cool scene, admittedly), and start abducting people, willy-nilly. The cowboys decide to hunt for the visitors out in the desert to try to get their loved ones back, and Craig slowly figures out where he came from and why he can’t remember. It’s all much less riveting than it even sounds.
I did like the cast, even if I wasn’t very concerned with what happened to any of them. Harrison Ford is somehow still kind of robust and agile, even at 69. Olivia Wilde bugs me, though bless her heart, I don’t even know why. I’d follow Sam Rockwell anywhere, and it was cool to see the always bizarre Paul Dano and the simmering Saulteaux Adam Beach get to play somewhat interesting roles here, as a wimpy spoiled asshole and loyal sidekick-who-longs-for-Harrison-Ford-to-be-his-daddy, respectively. The only person on screen whose welfare I was at all concerned with was Rockwell’s Doc, and that’s just cause I like the guy so much – it has nothing to do with the film.
The effects were fine, nothing looked stupid or lame, yet nothing really blew my face off. The aliens are meh as well – I swear to god, must EVERY ALIEN EVER FROM NOW ON LOOK LIKE CLOVERFIELD?!?! Apparently, there are no more original otherworldly creatures. We’ve imagined all possible ones into existence.
I do think Jon Favreau is a good director, I just tend to not be passionately excited about most of his films, and this one is no exception. C&A is about 15 minutes too long, and was completely, wholly, unremarkable. It’s a tad bit exciting, made me squirm in my seat and laugh once or twice, but plopped right in the middle of the summer, amidst all the other tentpoles and superheros, doesn’t stand out at all. In the end, I’m not sure whether I’m more disappointed in myself for expecting some absolute CRAZINESS from the awesome title or the plethora of talented filmmakers for just delivering exactly what the words on the marquee promised. Like, literally, that’s all you get. Some cowboys, some aliens. End credits.