Cowboys & Aliens: ***

Running time: 118 mins  Certificate: 12A

Synopsis: In Arizona, 1873, Jake Lonergan (Craig) awakes up with no memory, a strange wound and a  manacle on one wrist. He discovers he’s a wanted criminal and was abducted by demons. The people of Absolution’s have been kidnapped by these creatures. Jake with town boss Woodrow Dolarhyde (Ford) will try and rescue the town’s folk.


The in thing with Hollywood at the moment is mashing up different genres to give a slightly different viewing experience to audiences instead of doing the usual remake or sequel. A stellar cast, capable director and some heavyweight producers give the film some clout, but is it entertaining enough?


When the film was announced it sounded like it was going to be extremely fun, but unfortunately this is not the case. The plot like the title is pretty silly and should have been an amusing take on the Western genre. What we have here is a far out concept that is taken way to seriously for it’s own good. The decision to make this a serious action film rather than something amusing in the way of Snakes on a Plane, almost singlehandedly destroys the tone of the film completely.


The first half has to be said is pretty good and sets the story up well with a mixture of impressive effects, exciting action and a few funny scenes along the way. But once we meet the Native American characters the film falls apart with so many questions asked and very few answered. Why Jake is given a weapon by the creatures that can destroy them seems very stupid and poorly conceived. While the less said about the terrible plot twist in the middle the better.


The cast copes well with the limited material given to them . Craig makes an interesting heroic loner, while Ford seems to be relishing his first bad guy role since What Lies Beneath.  But Olivia Wilde seemes wasted with very mundane role. While Favreau has engineered a technically impressive and visually stunning blockbuster. It is also a vast improvement to his previous movie the terrible Iron Man 2.


Many Screenwriters took over ten years to come up with a workable script and it shows. Poorly developed and underwritten with too many secondary characters. The tone should have been lighter and funnier. Entertaining, but just nothing unique or exciting to recommend it. The fact it has been outsmurfed by those blue midgets says it all.


Reviewed by Paul Logan 

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