starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Noah
Ringer, Keith Caradine and Clancy Brown
screenplay by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzonen, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby
directed by Jon Favreau
This is another movie derived from a comic book, a kind of film I usually despise as simultaneously stupid and badly made. I looked forward for a long time to seeing it, and I wished that it had been better when I finally did. But all-in-all it wasn’t so bad. I haven’t seen a Carradine in any movie for years and when I did see Keith Carradine I didn’t recognize him. I enjoyed seeing Clancy Brown. He’s instantly recognizable even if you don’t know his name. Usually Brown plays bad-ass policemen or prison guards but in Cowboys and Aliens he played a Christian preacher. That was different. After seeing that Steve Oedekerk (Kung Pow - Enter the Fist) had a part in the script I had elevated expectations of what was coming. But I couldn’t identify anything Oekekerk-ish. There are so many contributors to the screenplay (and to the “screenstory” before that one might fairly wonder if the projects suffered because of it.
So Cowboys and Aliens is a science fiction western. We start with a man waking up in the desert of the old American western frontier with a strange metallic device fixed to his wrist, and near total amnesia. Is he an alien disguised as a man? No. I he from the future? No. He wanders into a nearby town where trouble begins. Then things get weird as aliens show up. It’s cowboys with six-shooters against alien ray guns.
It turns out that the aliens are there to mine gold, which is as rare to them as it is to us. They wander space and invade worlds to
harvest resources. It’s not the first time we’ve seen that story.