Edward 2 | Peter Brocco | Ein Herz und eine Seele
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Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Western
Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Abigail Spencer
A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys and natives are all that stand in their way.
Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are as dependably appealing as ever, but they're let down by director Jon Favreau's inability to smooth Cowboys & Aliens' jarring tonal shifts.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 29 Jul 2011 Released:
  • 06 Dec 2011 DVD Release:
  • $100.2M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Looks good, superb cast but painfully predictable.5/10
Its 1873; New Mexico Territory; an  Outlaw and a Cattle Rancher must put aside their differences to stop Alien invaders hellbent on experimenting on humans and stripping the land of its gold.

There's something kooky about the title Cowboys and Aliens, B-movie-ish, yet, exciting, enticing and genius. However, even with the star talents including Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, with the striking Olivia Wilde and excellent Sam Rockwell Cowboys and Aliens still falls short of expectations. The script is bland, every effort has gone into developing the two main leads but at a cost of the rest of the characters, the basic story and plot.  

The special and practical effects are well integrated and executed but while fantastic they are nothing that hasn't been seen before, reminiscent of District 9, Independence Day to name a few. Considering director's Jon Favreau fun and exciting Iron-man outings this offering is less satisfying. It's not the mishmash of classic genres that's the problem, it's the lazy, predicable story telling. 

The films opening is strong and intriguing, building up to the tension of Ford's character Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde meeting with Craig's Jake; its Jones meets Bond, perfect. Both are excellent giving weight to the proceedings. Horses are flipped, guns and gauntlets go wild, aliens leap and stomp on cowboys. But after the first few alien attacks the film wavers onto familiar territory. Although it has a fabulous cast beneath its hat and sweeping, breathtaking Western landscapes under it's belt - it buckles under it's own weight. 

Even with its somewhat serious tone it's not brave enough to explore or commit to its own themes leaving it underdeveloped. But it also omits much needed fun leaving the whole film unseasoned and as empty as the plains of Arizona. Debatably, flop Wild Wild West (1999) infused the sci-fi and Western genre more successfully. 

Cowboys and Aliens is entertaining, it looks good, has a superb cast but it's painfully predictable and just not that great.
Cowboys, Indians and Aliens7/10
In the Old West, an amnesic stranger awakes in the middle of the desert wounded in the belly with a bracelet in one of his wrists. He is attacked by thieves but defeats them. He rides a horse of one outlaw and heads to a former mining town, where the local preacher treats him.

Then he sees the youth Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano), who is the son of the powerful farmer Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), bullying with the bar owner Doc (Sam Rockwell) and the other locals. When Percy provokes the stranger, he reacts and beats up on Percy. The local Sheriff John Taggart (Keith Carradine) arrests Percy and he finds that the stranger is the wanted Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig). The sheriff returns to the bar with his deputies to arrest Jake, but he subdues the men. However he is hit on his back by the mysterious Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde) and he faints. Jake is arrested and when Sheriff Taggart is ready to take Jake and Percy in a coach to deliver them to a Federal Marshall, Woodrow arrives with his men ready to protect his son. But they are attacked by spacecrafts that abducts several dwellers, including Percy, Doc's wife and the sheriff. Woodrow organizes a posse to seek out the kidnapped people in a dangerous journey against an advanced race of aliens. Meanwhile Jake Lonergan has glimpses of his past life and they learn that someone among them may help them in the fight against the invaders.

"Cowboys & Aliens" is a very entertaining film with a battle between cowboys and Indians against alien invaders. The result is a funny adventure that blends western with sci-fi. Unfortunately Harrison Ford is histrionic and cliche in the role of the ambiguous Colonel. Daniel Craig is great, as usual and Olivia Wilde is very beautiful and charming. I had low expectations with "Cowboys & Aliens" and in the end I had lots of fun. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Cowboys & Aliens"
Oater this world or oater space, a choice of very poor puns for a GOOD movie.8/10
Wow i enjoyed this, partially due to the negative reviews here on IMDb (thanks guys) and in part due to Harrison Ford clearly having more fun with a character than he has in a long time.

Its not a perfect film and there are questions that could be asked of some of the plot points, but the questions, such as they are, would require irrelevant exposition, which would only serve to hobble the pace of what is essentially a "Men (and Woman) on a mission" movie.

What really stands out for me were the scenes at the beginning of the film, Jon Favreau introduces the characters, locations and situations in such a manner that when the real threat manifests itself, despite the films title, it catches you as off guard as the characters are.

The cast are all great, some nice character work from Clancy Brown and Keith Carradine. Daniel Craig brings the stoic, no nonsense aspects of his Bond to Jake and as i said earlier Harrison Ford obviously relishes the role of Dolarhyde.

It reminds me of the films i used to enjoy about twenty years ago, that had lively pace, but were'nt frantic. The effects are special, but not overblown or overwhelming to the point where they become the focus thereby obviating any interest in the characters stories.

I don't want to talk about the story too much and spoil it, i'd just urge you to go and watch it, because this movie is an honest attempt to try something a little different. Its not Superheroes, its not a TV show, its not a line of toys and its not cute animated whatevers. Its an unlikely, but successful fusion of two genres to produce a film with humour, drama, action and a refreshing amount of practical effects work. Give it a chance, i really was surprised how much i enjoyed it.
What happens when you overvalue a movie concept and undervalue the story5/10
The answer to the obvious question hovering around Jon Favreau's latest action blockbuster is yes, "Cowboys & Aliens" is as ridiculous as the title sounds. Yet blame doesn't quite belong on Favreau's shoulders or that of star Daniel Craig or the rest of the cast; rather, the failure of this alien-infested Western results from the domino effect of the countless studios and producers who put their faith (and money) in a concept rather than a story.

To be fair, I know nothing of the Platinum Studios comic by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, but it couldn't have been all that good if all the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood couldn't whip together a plot worth a damn. The duos behind "Iron Man" and "Star Trek" along with "Lost" writer Damon Lindelof all took cracks at the screenplay and an earlier treatment from another pair of "it" writers who wrote next month's "Conan the Barbarian" was discarded. Frankly, criticism of "Cowboys & Aliens" all stems from a story with lackluster characters equipped with cliche motivations. Despite some cool aliens, the action doesn't offer anything unique enough to counter that we've no reason to care.

Craig stars as Jake Lonergan, a stoic outlaw in Arizona sometime in the late 19th Century who wakes up with no memory and some metal device on his wrist. When he arrives in the town of Absolution, the sheriff discovers he's wanted and attempts to ship him off for a reward. That's when the aliens attack, bombing the town and roping up locals before flying off into the night. Lonergan's bracelet activates as a weapon and suddenly he's the only one capable of defeating these things. He joins a rescue party led by a grumpy Civil War vet named Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and they all set off to find out what happened to their loved ones.

The script introduces characters willy-nilly and provides little satisfactory explanation for anything that happens. The story paints Lonergan as a quiet badass, but one who has flashes of some woman he loved. Because his past slowly unravels with nothing revelatory to show for it as the film wears on, it's tough to care much or even see him as capable of romantic feelings. Regardless, a woman named Ella (Olivia Wilde) keeps approaching him with questions he doesn't have the answers to and she evolves into a love interest for nothing but the sake of it. Sam Rockwell has little to no bearing on the film other than serving an example of an otherwise peaceful man who will do whatever it takes to get his wife back. He's a waste in the role. As for Ford, he just gets on screen and acts grumpy and impatient. We've seen everyone on board do so much better. Did these folks not read the script? Probably not considering the number of drafts alone.

Worst of all, the script thinks we will care; after all, this is "Cowboys & Frickin' Aliens!" In the final sequence, suddenly all these supporting characters have little moments together out of seemingly thin air. What are supposed to be moments in the story tying up relationship subplots between characters end up as reminders that these relationships and subplots even existed in the first place. Consequently, the film's pivotal moments result not in hearts beating, but eyes rolling.

In fairness, Favreau shows his adeptness from an action perspective once again in this film. The movie looks good if nothing else with strong visual effects and a strong concept team behind the aliens and related technology. The genre experiment generally works from a tonal perspective, an obstacle that certainly stood in Favreau's path. The film feels like a Western and one in which aliens could feasibly exist, so no problems due to identity crisis.

Yet the film never provides a single reason to justify why it had to be a story about cowboys and aliens. In that sense, the movie results in nothing more than several studios and producers thinking we'd simply be interested in a fusion of a shoot-em-up Western with an alien invasion. All involved failed to ask the one critical question when making a film based on a concept: "is there a good story here?" No, there's not. Despite every ounce of you wanting to find a reason to care about what happens, none arrives. As such, "Cowboys & Aliens" offers watchable but lifeless entertainment.

~Steven C

Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.com
Huge Disappointment!2/10
Did someone put a gun to Jon Favreau's head and ask him to make this boring 'western'??

Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, one of the most fun directors around today, and a title containing both Cowboys and Aliens - this was definitely the most awaited summer movie for me!! And yet, somehow, the 'Curse of The Modern Day Spielberg' managed to defy all expectations and deliver a total damp squib. The story's weak (why capture the humans? why come to earth of all planets to mine for gold? how can one stolen gun destroy an entire operation?), the treatment confused (the whole Olivia Wilde arc), the actors under-utilized (somebody please stop the brutal destruction of everything that Harrison Ford has come to mean to moviegoers), and the action and thrills extremely underwhelming.

Please do not go to see this movie. More than the time that you'll never get back, it'll spoil James Bond, Indy, Cowboys, Westerns and Movie Aliens for you forever.

To think that I missed work to catch the first, early morning opening show. So disappointed.