Friday, July 29, 2011

Review - Cowboys & Aliens

The Western reinvented?  These cowboys don't know what they're dealing with, but they sure as heck aren't going to let these aliens get away with it. 

Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) awakens with his memories gone, an ugly abdomen wound, and a strange metal bracelet he can't remove.  It turns out he's a wanted man.  While trying to regain his memories, he constantly fights for survival and independence.

Being in the 1800's, these poor Western folk have no concept of life on other planets.  They don't know what to think when these flying things attack their town and abduct their friends.  Jake doesn't know why he has a bracelet that shoots these things out of the sky.  Together with Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), Jake ends up leading a posse to go find the critters that took their folk.

As any typical Western, expect to see the usual: gunfights, bars, Indians, piano playing, horses, gangs.  Just add aliens to the mix, and that's what this movie is.

The special effects were awesome.  (I'm so glad they didn't even try to do 3D.)  The aliens look real.  There's lots of explosions.  I love the camera effects on the flying machines (the same effects used in Battlestar Galactica - 2004 and Serenity).  Oh, yeah!  Jon Favreau did a great job directing this film.

This movie is probably accessible to the young teenagers and up.  It's rated PG-13 for western/sci-fi violence, one scene of partial nudity (you can see it in the trailer), and one crude reference.  I don't remember any cussing (beyond the "Biblical" ones).

A few weaknesses:  It does have a lot of Western cliches.  There are a couple of convenient coincidences, but not too many.  Like in many Spielberg movies, there's one scene where you see humans dying at such a fast rate that they'd all be dead in less than a minute.  Harrison Ford's acting isn't what it used to be. 

Despite these minor weaknesses, I strongly suggest watching Cowboys & Aliens.

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