“Cowboys And Aliens” is a real mixed bag. It is an entertaining summer movie but I found myself wishing that the creators had dropped the Aliens and had made this a straight up Western.
The story opens in the middle of the desert where Daniel Craig awakens with no memory and a strange metal band around his wrist. He wanders in to the Town of Absolution where a local preacher tends to his wounds. Outside, a local thug begins shooting up the town and the unnamed stranger subdues him. Sheriff Taggart recognizes him as Jake Lonergan, a wanted outlaw, and tries to arrest him. Jake nearly escapes, but a mysterious woman named Ella Swenson knocks him out. Eventually Harrison Ford, playing an evil Rancher, comes to town for his son, who Lonergan subdued.
At this point the movie was a superbly directed and acted Western. Then the aliens attack. They blanket the town with fire balls from the sky, capturing towns folk and taking them back to their mother ship. The rest of the story follows the Cowboys as they track the Aliens in an attempt to save their loved ones.
Jon Favreau, who directed both “Iron Man” movies, takes the helm here. If he had focused on making just a Western or just and Alien invasion flick I think I would have liked this a lot more. Instead we get a bit of both and the movie never really finds the right balance for the story. I think it is because these two genres just can’t be crossed.
In the end I have to say I was more entertained than I thought I would be. Oh and thank our lucky stars that it is in 2D. The image is bright and crisp, as it should be.