Cowboys & Aliens: Mediocrity Never Looked So Badass

Yell! Magazine review:

While stuck in human traffic walking through the doors of the exit to theater number 7, I thought to myself, “Well, it definitely had Cowboy’s and Aliens.” Noting the quiet exhaustion that the crowd around me seemed to feel despite the early show time led me to a conclusion that I had tried to avoid while sitting through this great idea of a movie:

It’s a good idea in theory, but the experience is ultimately flat.

There, I said it. Cowboy’s and Aliens should be a rootin’-tootin’, shootin’-from-the-hip, eatin’-yer-beans-down-by-the-campfire type of summer blockbuster, and don’t get me wrong, it certainly held my attention — but it could have been so much more.

I mean, come on. Look at the friggin’ title. Like peanut-butter and chocolate, ranch dressing and pizza crust, or grandma and grandpa, we should be treated to a fine convergence of two powerful forces. Instead, we’re left with a cookie-cutter plot with all the excitement of a hearty bowl of cream of wheat.

And cream of wheat can be tasty — but not when you expected that brown sugar oatmeal with the dinosaur eggs. What could have been an awesome exploration into the over-the-top tropes bred by an attention-deficient generation raised on video games (like me), eventually wound up as an event that could be summed up as “just OK” Purely middle-ground stuff. Nothing stood out, and you’ll probably forget you even saw it in about three days.

But expectations aside, exactly how does the movie roll along? Let us take a look.

Cowboys & Aliens - Daniel CraigAs an interesting throwback to The Man With No Name, Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the middle of nowhere with a chunk of his memory missing, a strange gauntlet-type-dealie shackled around his wrist, and a mysterious wound. Eventually, he winds up in the town of Stereotype Central, or as they call it in this film; Absolution. It is here that he meets the cast of characters featuring Clancy Brown as the preacher who stitches him up, Keith Carradine as the laid-back sheriff, and Sam Rockwell as the hilariously wimpy saloon owner. Olivia Wilde gets shoved in along the way as a mysterious woman who may be more than she seems. [Editor’s note: Olivia Wilde should never be shoved, she should be caressed.]

Film Title: Cowboys & Aliens

Somewhere during the trip, we meet Percy, played by Paul Dano, who causes a ruckus and disturbs the peace of the town, while hiding behind the strong wall of his father’s (Colonel Dolaryhyde, aka, Harrison Ford) reputation. As is typically the case with scenes like these, Daniel Craig shows the importance of being a good Samaritan by shutting him up with a solid knee to the nads, and the two get locked up.

Cowboys & Aliens - Daniel Craig

Read about the verdict after the click through…

Cowboys & Aliens poster
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
29 July 2011
Jon Favreau
Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Abigail Spencer, Buck Taylor, Matthew Taylor, Sam Rockwell
Sci-Fi, Western, Adventure
Official URL:
Cowboys & Aliens

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