HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Storm Boy
Storm Boy
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
   
 
Newest Articles
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
   
 
  Cowboys & Aliens Extraterr-West-rials
Year: 2011
Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano, Keith Carradine, Clancy Brown, Walton Goggins, Abigail Spencer, Noah Ringer, Buck Taylor, Ana de la Reguera, Matthew Taylor, Cooper Taylor, Raoul Trujillo, Toby Huss
Genre: Western, Action, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A man (Daniel Craig) awakens in the desert and wonders not only how he got there, but who he is. He is underdressed for wandering the landscape, and notices a strange band around his arm which in spite of his efforts he cannot remove. It is then he hears someone approaching, and is soon circled by a gang of men on horseback who begin to question him and act threateningly - but suddenly, as they muse over whether he'd deliver some lucrative bounty, the man attacks, managing to knock them all off their horses and shooting them with their own guns...

Who could this Wild West superman be? We don't find out for quite a while, and when we do as with much of the rest of the film, what should have been part of a rip-roaring adventure wound up eliciting a shrug, as Cowboys & Aliens was one of the would-be blockbusters of 2011 which "underperformed" at the box office. It wasn't a disaster, but the filmmakers quickly discovered that on trying to please the Western fans and the sci-fi fans simultaneously, there were not as many pleased with the results as they would have liked. Not much of a surprise when there were seven writers involved and they still hadn't worked out the correct appeal.

One of those writers was of course the author of the original comic book this was drawn from, but it didn't quite explain where the production had gone wrong when what looked like had happened was that nobody had any feel for the material as they wanted it to be presented. For the first half hour it's a passable cowboy movie, a little clich├ęd but with a nice enough atmosphere and sunbaked appearance, but then just as you're forgetting the other half of the title, a barrage of ray gun fire hails down on the characters from the night skies and suddenly you think, oh yeah, these must be the aliens, so what could a cowboy possibly do against that?

Which is an intriguing conundrum, but the solution is rather a letdown when the man with no name notices his wristband is bleeping now and can emit its own blasts of destructive energy, taking down one of the alien craft in the process. A better idea would have been to dispense with these technological marvels falling into the hands of the humans - there are more to come - and see if the writers could concoct a way for nineteenth century know-how to foil the invaders' plans. All right, the odds were stacked against them, but that would have made for heightened tension in the story instead of the people relying on Craig aiming his arm at any extraterrestrial wickedness and letting go with the energy bolts.

Harrison Ford was in this too, though you'd be forgiven for forgetting that as he was underused to a degree, that degree being the producers hoping that his name in a science fiction context would make viewers think of how much they enjoyed the Star Wars series - the ones he was in, at any rate. He played the patriarchal baddie who comes around to Craig's hero's point of view when his weaselly son (Paul Dano) is captured by the aliens along with most of the town for reasons rather fumbled, but the theme here was that humanity should all set aside their differences and team up to repel a different foe, and that included those old enemies cowboys and Indians getting on with each other for a change. With Olivia Wilde as the love interest who has a secret of her own, and seasoned character actors like Sam Rockwell and Clancy Brown doing the heavy thespian lifting, there was potential here, but by the end you'd realised you'd watched the blockbuster equivalent of Billy the Kid vs. Dracula. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2104 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: