When you’re watching a movie and the title is Cowboys and Aliens, you generally don’t start off expecting too much from it. As a matter of fact, you probably don’t expect much more than… well, cowboys and aliens. This film delivers just what its title promises - a battle between the gun slinging folks of the old west and invaders from outer space.
The basic storyline is pretty simple. A man wakes up in the middle of the dusty West, his memory gone and a strange piece of technology strapped to his wrist. He ends up making his way to a small western town where he gets on the wrong side of the wrong people. He story could have ended there, but for a timely attack on the town by spaceships. The aliens do a quick fly-by on the town and steal away some of its residents. Thus, the memory-less man and the rest of the armed town must band together to go get the kidnap victims backs.
Along the way the party of human combatants gets bigger, adding to their ranks a group of outlaws and a bunch of Native Americans. They all set aside their differences in the face of the greater alien threat, eventually converging on the location of the aliens’ spacecraft and culminating in a huge battle.
I’m a bit prejudice toward the movie, as the main actors are Daniel Craig (who can do no wrong in my eyes) and Harrison Ford. This type of movie isn’t something you’d expect to see them in, given the tendency for such genre flicks to go real sour, real fast. But they both do a great job with the limited storyline and emphasis on special effects and action.
If you choose to watch Cowboy and Aliens, don’t expect too much in the way of a tale that has some sort of deeper meaning. It’s a battle between the two forces and little more. The supporting characters are kind of goofy and generic though everyone does a decent job. The FX are great and the alien designs are pretty cool, a seemingly basic part of such a film that many other projects get horribly wrong.
This is a sci-fi genre-bender that shines above the rest, avoiding the B-movie brand. If you want something fun and light-hearted that has plenty of action, good atmosphere and some cool-as-hell actors, give Cowboys and Aliens a chance. You won’t be disappointed.