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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cowboys and Aliens

There might be spoilers ahead. I'm going to try to avoid them, but if you don't want to risk it, please stop reading here.

Let me preface this review my mentioning that I'd never had any desire to watch Cowboys and Aliens. One of the guys at work loaned his DVD to me because I was talking to him when another person he'd loaned it to came over to return it. I also was doing other stuff while the movie was on, so I wasn't paying strict attention.

Cowboys and Aliens is basically that aliens have come to Earth to take our gold. For reasons that are unclear to me, they attack a town and abduct some of the townspeople. A group from the town goes to rescue those who were taken.

The first thing that surprised me was this movie was set in the old west. I didn't realize it was historically set, which echoes back to it not being a movie I'd wanted to see so I didn't pay attention to details while it was advertised. I imagined modern day cowboys and I had to adjust my expectations.

Secondly, the movie started out slowly. Oh, there was some intrigue about what the heck was going on with Daniel Craig's character that kept me watching, but there was too much stuff I found boring. Like the spoiled rich man's son who could do anything he wanted in town because of his daddy (played by Harrison Ford). I'm not sure why this spoiled man-child needed that much film space spent on him, but they spent a lot of the opening on him and I got bored.

Finally, the aliens attacked the town and stuff started happening. I perked up briefly, but it didn't last. The cowboys ride out to find the aliens seemed to take a very long time. We got to hear Harrison Ford's character tell a story about how he got to be such a bad tempered SOB. During this trip we also discover a "shocking" revelation about one of the posse members and we get more telling. This time about the aliens and why they're here.

The dramatic battle at the end? Not so dramatic. I found it to be slow and lacking much in the way of suspense.

Maybe if the premise had grabbed me enough to want to see the movie, I wouldn't have been so bored watching it. Or maybe not. I'm very picky about movies and a story has to grab me to turn off this inner critic. This film couldn't do that. The best part was watching Daniel Craig who did look fine.

If you have nothing else to do, there are worse movies to watch. There are better, too, but someone else might enjoy it.

My rating: 2 stars