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Cowboys & Aliens (2011)


John Favreau directs an all-star cast in the western meets sci-fi Cowboys & Aliens. Jake Lonergan, Daniel Craig, tries to piece together missing memories with the help of Ella Swenson, Olivia Wilde. They team up with Woodrow Dolarhyde, Harrison Ford, to destroy the base where the Aliens are attacking from. Paul Dano, Adam Beach, Abigal Spencer, and Sam Rockwell are also featured.

Favreau is used to directing a man with a wrist-mounted cannon from Iron Man and brings his excellent execution of earth-based sci-fi to this film. Daniel Craig had started his run as James Bond by the time this film was made and was already defined as an action star. Harrison Ford has decades of his career to stand on. Despite all of that, this film received mixed critical reviews despite delivering on exactly what the title promised, Cowboys AND Aliens.

Favreau did not have MCU money to make the aliens, but they are more puppet and costume than CGI and it pays off during the fight sequences. The film stands up to the progress of technology and is as good today as it was when it came out. The plotline hides a couple of reveals, but Jake’s story starts as an outline, and details are filled in as we go, keeping things interesting.

The film is as well-acted and well-directed as you would expect. At 1:59 it does not overstay its welcome and keeps the plot moving swiftly along. There are enough fight scenes throughout to keep you interested as slower parts of the story unfold. I enjoyed this film and think it deserves another chance if the rotten tomatoes scores have you skipping it. While not a masterpiece it is a fully contained story that does not try to set up a sequel and instead, leaves the viewer with a satisfying ending to a fun two genre mashup.

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