Review: Considering Some Plot-Holes, 'Cowboys & Aliens' Is Visually Delicious!
What do you get when you blend Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, an overflow of Westernized attitude, look and feel, Aliens and a plot which would need to be approached with a suspended mind-set of any reality? A beautifully, pieced, cinematic, orgy, which went on a bit too long, but tolerated due to payoff brought to you courtesy of Queens Native, Jon Favreau!
Clearly one of the most anticipated films this year, Cowboys & Aliens melds two of the most beloved film genres in history, and making it clear when ideas flow beyond anyone’s comprehension, anything in Hollywood is indeed possible!
Perhaps a bit complex for some, but not in the least bit if your dumb-ass is able to follow!
1873. Arizona Territory—A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution! The only hint to his history is a cool, yet, mysterious shackle that encircles a wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). In other words, a town consumed by fear!
But Absolution is about to experience fear it can barely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by sky-lurking thugs. Screaming down with breathtaking speeds and blinding lights to abduct the helpless, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.
Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.
Off the bat I will say a major drive about this movie is the mystery behind it. Right from the beginning, there’s a silent treatment which Favreau plays with when introducing Daniel Craig and tying in layers of the story little by little. Riddled with certain language, the gritty feeling of old Western flicks pretty much sweeps away with most of the film’s magic. Quietly, yet, strongly imposing Craig’s character sets off on his quest pertaining to mysterious, unknown actions, but quickly lets those around him know that although a bit vulnerable and disoriented, Bond is NOT to be f'd with. (You’ll see what I mean!)
On the flip side: Harrison Ford has an interesting character which carries the back bone of who it is the town fears most. A severe threat to everyone, Indiana Jones is the ying to Craig’s yang. Heavily Southwestern in dialect, look and attitude, serving the role of a supporting bad-ass isn’t what we’re use to watching when this heavy hitter’s on screen. However, it works well. (You’ll see what I mean)
Together, the chemistry which these two have can be argued whether it was there or not, but bouncing off each other’s emotions and objectives—especially during moments of possible death at the hands of Alien thugs—there’s a point in which like the title itself, two entities of opposite existences, simultaneously merge into something beyond anyone’s expectations.
There’s so much to the film’s story I’d love to get into, but due to spoilers, I really wouldn’t want to ruin it. All I know is that personally, the reason for these Aliens to be around during that time didn’t make much sense, as well as some of the ways the cowboys and Native Americans approach it when needing to join forces. It seemed a bit off considering how ruthless these Aliens looked and acted, however, the mere fact that this film is visually delicious allows for plot holes and odd choices to be overlooked.
The rest of the supporting cast is kick-as as well in Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, Adam Beach and an always soft-in-eyes Olivia Wilde—who barely says much, but has a pretty interesting role. (Oh, and guys, there’s a nice back shot of her. It’s a PG-13 film, but since the ladies get Craig shirtless…we get Wilde’s sexy back-side!)
Favreau delivers what I think is a fun, summer, flick. It isn’t one of those superhero types, but the antics in this graphic novel adaptation sure has the “it factor.” Is it his best? NO! Is it as appealing as anything else he’s done? Yes. I, once again, urge for your brain to be left at the door, however, prepare yourself to endure a pretty lengthy, intense, ride into two worlds never thought to be united.
GRADE: B- / GENRE: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller, Western and Adaptation / RATED: PG-13 / RUN TIME: 2 Hrs.
STARRING: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano
DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau
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