29 July 2011 | j528491
So that's what westerns were missing
There's something about the old west that makes you think alien invasion. Sure we've seen plenty of westerns lately ("3:10 to Yuma", "True Grit"), but it's been a while since we've seen a western with aliens. But now, Jon Favreau (Iron Man) brings us "Cowboys and Aliens." First things first: we need some cowboys...
And who better to play these cowboys than Indiana Jones and James Bond. That's right we have Daniel Craig playing Jake Lonergan, a cowboy who wakes up in the middle of nowhere and knows only how to speak and fight. It was almost the same thing we saw in "The Bourne Identity." All he can remember about himself comes to him in memories triggered by familiar places and feelings. Then we have Harrison Ford playing the rich and powerful Woodrow Dolarhyde. From trailers and posters of the movie, I went in the movie thinking these two would be a team from start to finish. What we actually see is Ford's character start as a villain type and evolve from there. He was the most developed character throughout the entire movie and was a lot of fun to watch. Then there was Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde) who seemed to be a little clichéd as far as strong western women are concerned, but we soon realize that she is quiet different from past westerns. All of the characters (including some of the aliens) are really dynamic.
The movie is set in Arizona in 1873 and holds strong to the setting for a long time. You get the western feel of it and see all of the classic western elements. There are people fighting in deserts, bars, jail cells...and there was a lot of great violent action. And then the aliens come and you completely forget about the setting. But your okay with it because in the alien scenes, someone/something is getting stabbed or shot in the face. Which brings me to my next point...
The action scenes in this movie were what we should have been seeing ALL SUMMER LONG. If a helicopter is spinning out of control, I don't want to see someone imagine a roller-coaster that guides it to the ground gently (that's right Green Lantern, cut the crap). In the same way, if aliens come and invade a town and abduct most of the peoples' family members, I want those cowboys to hunt them down and find new and creative ways to make their body parts disappear. And "Cowboys and Aliens" did a really good job with that. I would say that it had a few of the best action scenes I've seen all year.
So "Cowboys and Aliens" was a really fun movie. Not the kind that makes you think really, or even one many people could relate to, but it was still fun in that it was gory when it needed to be, it was funny when it needed to be, and it was even emotional when it needed to be. It was just a really great summer action movie (which is apparently where Jon Favreau thrives). It was a great western with great sci-fi. And really, how many other movies can say that?