'Cowboys & Aliens' Review By JIm Mourgos
Original, Fun to Watch!
The film starts out as a standard cowboy film; drunk, irresponsible son of a cattle baron screwing around with the locals since he feels his dad's name will protect him. Part of the gang includes an American Indian whose later history is revealed and is quite touching. But I am getting ahead of myself.
It's night and just when you think you are going to watch another Western drama, the aliens come. Their ships are sleek and fast. They whip out these hooks and kidnap people off their horses, the street, stores, etc. You really feel the passion, the fear and excitement as they come zooming in!
Of course 19th century peoples have little concept of these so they are dumbstruck. The plot rolls on like this, with an amnesiac cowboy and a strange weapon on his wrist; a cattle baron who has second thoughts about absolute power; and a woman from a strange planet, herself a victim of the alien hordes upon her own world.
Harrison Ford is great as the crotchety old cattle baron, whose backstory is filled with tales of how to be a man and how his sympathy for those less powerful than himself changes the viewer's opinion of him.
Daniel Craig plays Jake the amnesiac; barely escaped from the last alien culling, can't remember it and only knows that he must ride on. But can he?
And the third person, the woman from another world in human form who wants to help these 19th century men and women to avoid the fate that her world suffered from. Great acting!
Best Scene: When the Cowboys & Indians fight the fast-moving aliens, it's really a site to behold. Guns, arrows and laser explosions for a good 15 minutes of fanboy overload.
Bottom Line: The film plods along at times, and a plot hole or two prevent this one from making it five stars. Still, loved the action, you care about the characters and really sympathize with Jake, a man out of his league but adapts to what is really needed of him. The Spielberg touch with the turtle-like aliens, their delicate hands and fierce demeanor, really put in some frightful appearances.
The DVD's special features including several Making Of's, how the aliens were formed, the creation of the aliens, some exclusive interviews with director Favereau, Spielberg and a few of the main actors. Great product.
The cast includes:
• Daniel Craig as Jake Lonergan, an amnesiac outlaw
• Harrison Ford as Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde, a powerful cattleman
• Olivia Wilde as Ella Swenson, a mysterious traveler who aides Lonergan
• Sam Rockwell as Doc, owner of the town's saloon
• Paul Dano as Percy Dolarhyde, Woodrow's trouble-making son
• Clancy Brown as Meacham, Absolution's preacher and doctor
• Keith Carradine as Sheriff John Taggart, Absolution's sheriff
• Noah Ringer as Emmett Taggart, John Taggart's grandson