In the late 1800s a man wakes up lying on the floor of a canyon, unable to remember where he is or even who he is. All he knows is that he has a strange metal bracelet on his wrist and he can speak English. Soon he begins to discover who he is, why some people are not too friendly towards him, and that strange flying objects are abducting people.
The movie stars the current James Bond, Daniel Craig, and the man who has played some of the most famous characters in movie history (Han Solo, Indiana Jones) Harrison Ford. It also stars the current ‘it’ girl Olivia Wilde who appears to be going places rather quickly. Sam Rockwell plays a very subdued supporting role and Canada’s own Adam Beach plays a tracker.
The movie is directed by Jon ‘Iron Man‘ Favreau and with the script written by a group of people, all coming from either writing scripts for the Star Trek remake or Iron Man, you pretty much get what you would expect. An action packed story with some good understated humour and enjoyable special effects. While most of the plot isn’t anything new or unique, there actually is one twist that I don’t believe anyone saw coming.
It must be said that the western part of the movie is pretty convincing and probably would have made a good movie all by itself. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford work well together and both are fun to watch although Fords character seemed to start off mean and mellow too quickly. It is a shame because it is rare for Ford to play a bad man and he looks like he might be good at it. As with most movies she is in, Olivia Wilde shows that she is a great actress as well as a beautiful and unique woman.
It was nice to hear a soundtrack that didn’t resort to loud rock music. The orchestral parts really were a throw back to the great westerns of yester-year. It suited the movie as well as the music from Pirates of the Caribbean suits those movies, hitting all the right notes.
It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference but I would have no problem with my 6 and 7yr old boys watching it. It is the kind of movie that, like Iron Man, is a good summer movie that will still be enjoyable to watch in Winter time. It almost seems to be the antithesis of the Michael Bay style of movies where there are so much going on, with cars exploding, and the ground exploding, and robots exploding.
Based upon a 2006 graphic novel that was itself based upon a 1989 original screenplay, Cowboys & Aliens is an action movie set in the wild west that just happens to involve aliens. Having not read either the original screenplay or the graphic novel, I don’t know how much original content they have used. I am sure there will be fans of the graphic novel who hate this movie for not being more like the novel but I am sure for the majority of viewers this is a movie to watch and enjoy. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good fun movie that doesn’t require the viewer to think.