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COWBOYS & ALIENS review by John and Marisa

COWBOYS & ALIENS A Mixed Bag for John and Marisa



Cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, Noah Ringer, Abigail Spencer and Walton Goggins

Directed by: Jon Favreau

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence some partial nudity and a brief crude reference

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi Thriller,Western, Comic Book

Running Time: 1hr 58min

Opening Date: July 29th, 2011

Distributed by: Universal Pictures




By John Delia and Marisa Ings


Strap your six-gun to your waist, tie the string around your leg and ride over to see the movie Cowboys & Aliens a rip snorting account of a space  invasion.  Seriously now, there will be no guns allowed in the movie theatre, not even toy type.  If you want some action with great special effects that make a film come alive with awesome space creatures then check this one out.

Jake (Craig) and The Colonel (Ford) bring down a space fighter

Based on a comic book the story centers on Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), a badass cowboy who awakens with memory loss.  With a weird bracelet attached to his wrist he rides into a small 1870’s town where he gets caught in the middle of an incident where Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano) the son of a domineering rancher gets arrested.  Shortly thereafter Percy’s dad, Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) comes to town to get him released. But, just when the Colonel and Percy think they can ride out of town the place gets invaded by space ships snatching people off the streets, including Percy.  When Jake finds he can use the bracelet to shoot down a couple of fighters, the Colonel enlists him to go after his son.

Jake awakens with an alien bracelet attached to his arm


Marisa Says: The combination of Science Fiction and Old West adventure is a great concept but that’s about all Cowboys & Aliens offers. With 8 writers and 16 producers (award winners included), one would think this film is the all around best to debut in summer 2011 but Cowboys & Aliens falls flat. The film does start with a buzz but by the end, my interest flat lined. I left the theater with questions and having to process what my eyes had just witnessed.


John Says: The acting here is very good with Daniel Craig doing his best western accent, Harrison Ford working his serious face and Olivia Wilde showing her, well you’ll have to see that for yourself.  Although the story’s a little campy and sometimes ridiculous, the actors are so much fun to watch in this ‘Gun Fight at the OK Corral’ facing the ugliest aliens in recent film history.  If you really want to enjoy this movie, leave your serious face at home.

Olivia Wilde as Ella doing her best 'Annie Oakley"


Marisa Says: Acting is not the issue in Cowboys & Aliens. Given the circumstances of depicting both cliché western and alien invasion genres, the actors performed well. In the beginning of the movie, Daniel Craig captures attention as outlaw Jake Lonergan.  The solitary Lonegran immediately proves to be a force to be reckoned with by beating anyone who stands in his way into submission. Besides being awkward and borderline stalker initially, Olivia Wilde is not given the opportunity to offer much to the film as Ella Swenson. Yet, Harrison Ford’s portrayal as a grumbling war colonial is well received and also brings a few laughs to the table.


Daniel Craig working with Director Jon Favreau on the set

John Says: The direction here by Jon Favreau (Iron Man) fits well with his style of science fiction fantasy, especially working with a huge popular cast.  He gets into the action quickly and keeps it coming so there isn’t any time for your mind to wander.  I like the way he introduces Jake Lonergan lying face down in the dust, slowly getting up and with a lost look on his face.  It’s classic western and he shows his audience that they are in for an unusual ride.


John Says: If there is a downside to the film, it’s the resiliency of the characters and fast recovery from mayhem, but it is a movie however and much like other Favreau work we are dealing with fantasy.  Also if I were a town’s person in the 1870’s and saw a metal airship come flying out of the sky shooting at the ground, I would be terror stricken, and a lot of them acted a little dumbfounded, yet ready for action. With flaws like this however, it’s really something easily overlooked if you are a true science fiction fan.


Marisa Says: I am a young woman who enjoys action-packed films but Cowboys & Aliens did not deliver on all the hype that is promised. The plot is just too simple for unique concept and does not bring anything new to the film scene nor does it offer any surprises. In 2060 when our predecessors encounter our “blockbuster” films they will see Cowboys & Aliens and say, “I can’t believe they watched stuff like this.”

Cowboy’s & Aliens has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference, but nothing your X-Box users haven’t already seen.


John Says: FINAL ANALYSIS: A fun Sci-Fi action film with a lot of whimsical exaggeration. (B)


Marisa Says: Final Grade (D+) The greatest thing about this film is its title




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