Cowboys & Aliens is the newest film by Jon Favreau, written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on Scott Mitchell Rosenberg‘s comic book, starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell and Paul Dano.
Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert, without his memories but with a weird bracelet on his arm that he isn’t able to remove. He makes his way to the town of Absolution where he is recognised as a wanted fugitive when he gives Percy (Paul Dano), the son of the local head honcho Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), his due. Before things can go really bad, Absolution is attacked by space ships and many of the town inhabitants are abducted, among them Percy and the town’s barkeeper Doc’s (Sam Rockwell) wife. That’s when Jake’s bracelet kicks into action and shows some really special features. So, a search party heads out to find the missing people, including Jake, Woodrow, Doc and the mysterious Ella (Olivia Wilde).
Cowboys & Aliens is a well paced action flick with a good sense of humor and a very good cast. I liked it a lot.
The movie is not perfect. Apart from there being way too little Sam Rockwell (who proves once again that he has impeccable comedic timing) and Paul Dano (who I just enjoy when he plays an asshole) – a few things about the script remain unclear, especially in the character of Ella. So, she’s this incredibly powerful being with regenerative powers and a lot of knowledge about the aliens who has her mission, but she has to wait for some random cowboy to actually do anything? What if Jake hadn’t escaped or had escaped without the bracelet?
Also, why would you choose a woman’s body to take care of your action mission in 19th century America? I mean, even today it would probably be the more practical thing to take a man’s body. That’s not because I think that men are automatically more suited to these missions, it’s just that from a pure pragmatic standpoint, men don’t have to put up with a lot of things that women have to in the same circumstances.
But back to the film. Jon Favreau proves once more that he knows how to make movies fun and engaging. There were a couple of hammy moments and there were moments where things got a bit dark and a little hard to follow, but nothing too bad.
The cast was really good, though special mention really has to go to Daniel Craig’s ass in those pants. They just put in that extra effort that makes this movie great.
Summarising: unashamed and unabashed fun.