Cowboys & Aliens (2011) Directed by Jon Favreau. With Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell.
What promises to be a mega-budget, all-star slice of B-movie fun is instead yet another session of Hollywood hoop jumping with a predictable plot, clichéd characters and a lifeless script. Taking the reigns is Iron Man director Jon Favreau, and while his film is a handsome-looking spectacle, it’s also a saggy one that plods along in a seemingly aimless way. The coming-together of the energy and fun of the alien invasion movie versus the true-grit, slow burn of the western genre never really pays dividends.
For starters, the aliens themselves are a crude collection of computer generated nondescripts that serve only to jump and leap around in the most underwhelming way, while at the same time picking off the disposable cast members. What’s more, they are given no real introduction or endowed with any mysticism – which reduces their threat to that of your average video game gribbly.
What should be the dream screen pairing of Indiana Jones and James Bond results in a chemistry vacuum in which both actor does his own thing in a reasonably solid but forgettable way. Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell tag along for eye-candy and comic relief respectively, but neither gets much chance to shine due to a criminally witless script. It might look the part, but Cowboys & Aliens is a wholly unrewarding experience that begins promisingly but soon gets lost, breaks down and chokes in its own dust. Yee-snore. 2/5