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Entries in Cowboys and Aliens (1)

Thursday
Jul282011

Movie Review: ‘Cowboys & Aliens’

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you're a fan of the western genre, Cowboys & Aliens will look familiar. If you're a fan of sci-fi, Cowboys & Aliens will look familiar.  And that is precisely the point.
 
When we first meet Daniel Craig's character, Jake Lonergan, he's an unconscious, bloodied and battered mess wearing an incongruous thick metal bracelet. When he wakes up in the desert, he has no idea who he is, where he is or how he got there, but he conveniently remembers how to beat the daylights out of three men on horseback who try to corral him in the hopes of collecting a cash reward.
 
Jake then stumbles upon the town of Absolution, where he embarrasses the obnoxious son of the powerful town benefactor, Harrison Ford's Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde.  Jake may not remember who he is, but the sheriff does, and so does Olivia Wilde's Ella, whose otherworldly beauty may foreshadow an important plot point -- or not. All of this won't matter because a few hours later, the town of Absolution is attacked by aliens who fly ships with the ability to lasso prey and pull them up to the sky -- a fun visual.
 
With a stellar supporting cast including Sam Rockwell as Doc, the frustrated saloon owner, Clancy Brown as the gun-wielding kindly preacher, and Adam Beach as Nat Colorado, Colonel Dolarhyde's right-hand man, Cowboys & Aliens delivers consistently realistic performances under the auspices of actor and Iron Man director Jon Favreau.
 
Craig and Ford are perfectly matched. In a sense, they're almost interchangeable -- 20 years ago, Ford would've been a great Lonergan and 20 years from now, Craig will make a great Dolarhyde. Added to their appeal, they both exude a machismo that neither belies nor hinders the wounded and sensitive subtext of their characters.
 
The only way you won't like Cowboys & Aliens is if you’re not a fan of westerns or sci-fi, the same way you wouldn't like a Jay-Z/Linkin Park mash-up because you're neither a fan of rap nor rock. Cowboys & Aliens is simply fun, and one of the summer's better "blockbuster" offerings.

Four out of five stars.

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