The ApunKaChoice movie review of Cowboys & Aliens. When you saw the trailer of Cowboys & Aliens, you must have thought that it is going to be one cracker of a movie… I thought the same! After all, the story rides on such a unique concept - cowboys fighting it out with the aliens! But unfortunately, the movie fails to deliver!
The movie revolves around a man (Daniel Craig…we will reveal his character’s name later; you will understand why so) who wakes up with an injury in the middle of a Mexican desert, without any memory and a strange bracelet around his wrist! While trying to figure out things, he reaches the nearest town called Absolution. Somehow, he gets involved in a fight with the local rich man’s son, Percy (played by Paul Dano). He (Daniel Craig) is then arrested by the local sheriff, because, although he has lost his memory, he is the most wanted criminal of the town by the name of Jake Lonegran! (Now you know why we didn’t reveal his name earlier!)
Then there is a mysterious girl Ella (played by Olivia Wilde), who helped the local sheriff in capturing Jake. The rich man’s son Percy is also arrested by the sheriff. Following which Percy’s father, the rich man, Colonel Dolarhyde (played by Harrison Ford) comes to the scene to teach the sheriff a lesson for arresting his son; and also take Jake’s case since Jake stole his (Dolarhyde’s) bullion. But the sudden arrival of space ships, followed by abduction of people from the town by the aliens, nullifies Dolarhyde’s plan.
What comes to their rescue is Jake’s bracelet, as he learns to use it as a weapon and destroys a spaceship (though the alien manages to flee). Slowly and steadily, Jake and Dolarhyde mend their differences and shake hands and decide to fight against the aliens and get back their abducted natives.
The problem here is not the concept of the movie, but the treatment given to the script. Jon Favreau’s direction fails to captivate the viewer’s attention for a long time span. Though the movie starts off well, with all the mystery surrounding Jake, the way the story unfolds doesn’t leave you much impressed. There are too many strange happenings in the film which somehow make the movie a tough one to grasp! Also, Jon Favreau takes too long to reveal the real identity of Jake. The reason for the aliens attacking the Mexican desert, also, does not leave you in a state of thrill (which it should have).
SPOILER ALERT… Ella turning out to be a non-human is perhaps the only element of the script that leaves an impact upon you.
Speaking about the performances by the actors, our very own James Bond, Daniel Craig (as Jake Lonegran), gives us a great performance as the quickgun but stoic protagonist. Daniel’s show is perhaps the only saviour of this lifeless film. Though Harrison Ford (as Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde) is the second lead, he does total justice to his character. Olivia Wilde (as Ella) looks stunningly beautiful but has little to offer to the script. Adam Beach (as one of the native Indians who help Jake retain his lost memory) impressed us with his performance.
The background score by Harry Gregson-Williams is an exciting one. After watching the trailer itself one realises that whatever be the case, the background score will not be disappointing.
Over all Cowboys & Aliens is a below par movie and a waste of a unique concept. The movie will not catch anyone’s attention: neither the cowboys’ nor the aliens’!
Just for Daniel’s great performance, we give half-a-star extra and give Cowboys & Aliens 2 stars out of 5!