I didn’t expect much from this movie as the critics pretty much panned it and even the Smurfs outdrew it at the box office. But, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Such fun – Cowboys and Aliens together! Harrison Ford as the rich, cruel cattle baron and Daniel Craig as the mysterious stranger lead an all-star cast in this mash-up of two genres. Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard are listed as producers along with a bunch of Hollywood elites. Stan Winston’s creature shop created the aliens and ILM the CGI elements. The movie was directed by Jon Favreau, fresh off his success with Iron Man.
The movie starts with Craig waking up in the desert, groggy with no memory of how he got there or who he is. There’s also a bloody hole in his side and a mysterious large bracelet on this wrist which he can’t get off. Three armed bad guys show up and attempt to rob him and he goes into action, taking them all out and winning himself a horse, boots and weapon. He heads into the town of Absolution in the Arizona Territory where the Sheriff, played by Keith Carradine, realizes he’s a wanted outlaw, Jake Lonergan. Just as Jake is loaded into a prison wagon along with Col. Dolarhyde’s (Ford) spoiled son, alien craft appear on the horizon and proceed to shoot up the town and grab people and hoist them into their craft. The Sheriff is killed and it’s up to Dolarhyde and Jake to mount a posse, including Clancy Brown as the Preacher and Sam Rockwell as Doc, to go after the aliens. The rancher has an Apache ranch hand (Adam Beach) he’s raised from a boy and that fact comes in very handy when the most of the posse desert when faced with aliens in the flesh and a band of Chiracuahua Apaches meet up with them. They are also looking for their people the aliens have snatched.
Racial prejudice, father and son conflicts, gold lust, lost loves and a thirst for vengeance all play a part as well as a mysterious beautiful woman(Olivia Wilde) who insists on coming along. They come together with a most satisfying and explosive conclusion.
Now I know this movie was reviewed back in August by someone whose opinions I really admire, but I have to disagree on this one. Don’t judge this film by what it’s missing but by the sum of its parts. I give it 8 out of 10.