Cowboys and Aliens: Brief Review

Posted: August 23, 2011 in Movies

Cowboys and Aliens is a cross genre film based off a graphic novel, starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.  Craig’s character wakes up not knowing who he is, or how he got a strange metal object attached to his wrist. He soon gets captured and learns he was a wanted outlaw. As he’s about to be taken away spaceships fly through the night sky and start attacking the town and abducting people. At this point he realizes the device on his hand can fight the aliens, and joins the townspeople in trying to get their loved ones back.

The neat thing about this movie is it’s a cowboy movie first, and a science fiction film second. It has all the tropes of a western, Cowboys, Indians, bandits, saloon brawls, etc. It also has the beats of the UFO phenomenon, alien abduction, lost memories, cattle mutilations, but also the aliens methods (they basically lasso people to abduct them) and their overall plot fit in perfectly with western mythology.

Along the way there are nice character beats for the various townspeople, including the dorky saloon owner and his search for respect. Despite the somewhat goofy title the premise is played completely straight. My sole complain is that, while it has some suspense, it should have/could have been outright scary.

One really interesting thing to me was that, unlike most movies of this type, it left no room for a sequel. It has a definitive ending, and is a neat experiment in cross genre film. 8.5 out of ten.


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