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Cowboys and Aliens (2011)

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 118 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

Who says that nobody in Hollywood has any imagination nowadays? Ditching the tiresome old Indians and replacing them with little green martians – well that’s new fangled and interesting. Unfortunately, I’m not saying that this is a good idea but it is a new one at least.

Cowboys and Aliens is about cowboys and aliens, surprisingly enough. There are the cowboys straight out of yokel desert town of Western folklore who don’t take kindly to strangers, especially Jake Lonergan (Craig) who wanders in with a strange bracelet on his wrist. The town is ruled over with an iron fist by Woodrow Dolarhyde (Ford) and he puts Jake in jail but when they are visited by an otherworldly terror they soon find that they need Jake’s help.

The major downfall in Favreau’s movie is that there is absolutely no self-conscious mockery but instead it takes itself very very seriously. The only humourous parts are the unintentional ones and the cliches build up by the bucketload (including the old staple of the cowboy riding off into the sunset). Cowboys and Aliens can only get through this by trying to be funny once in a while but it doesn’t even try. Didn’t Favreau use to be fairly funny before he became a ‘serious’ Hollywood Director and made the Iron Mans?

It’s a shame that a quality class is squandered here. Daniel Craig is obviously trying to show he can do something far-departed from Bond but ends up doing something very similar with another quiet, brooding hero act. Rockwell and Wild are criminally underused but at least Harrison Ford gives it a go – Gawd bless the old fool.


It's Got: unintentional humour, an original idea, underused actors

It Needs: Some intentional humour, any at all, just a pinch


Ultimately soulless and devoid of any of the laughs that could have saved it, Cowboys and Aliens has an interesting idea but is poorly executed by Favreau. Didn’t make me Yee-ha once – so disappointed.