3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good, but not as much as you hoped,
This review is from: Cowboys & Aliens [DVD] (DVD)
Let's manage expectations. This is a cowboy film, with aliens in it. It is not an alien Sci-fi movie with cowboys. And despite the suggestively light-hearted title this is not in any way a comedy.
Yet like the title, this is a no frills straight forward storyline where a bunch of cowboys go after a bunch of kidnapping aliens. So since the film doesn't rely on plot, it focuses on spectacle, atmosphere and characterisation, which it achieves to varying degrees of success.
Ticking many of the boxes of the Wild West genre it's got the mean and moody stranger who comes to a small town, a beautiful prostitute, a ruthless rancher, posses on horseback and wise speaking Red Indians. It is a film with lots of gloss but a forbidding atmosphere reminiscent of Unforgiven. Yet unlike Unforgiven, it struggles to find the time in between the special effects to flesh out its characters. However, the leads do their darn best. Harrison Ford is impressive as a hard-nosed war veteran made cynical by his experiences on the battlefield; but he will disappoint those who were expecting Indiana Eastwood. Daniel Craig is excellent as the amnesiac outlaw who in the very first 5 minutes makes you completely forget he is Bond. The weak link though is Olivia Wilde's character; beautiful as she is you can't help but feel her presence pointless until you get to the film's only twist, which she is central to, and then you reflect that the twist is in fact pointless.
This film will probably not satisfy Sci-fi geeks or the Western stalwarts, but for most of us in between, it delivers originality and good fun. Not quite 4 stars but definitely recommended.