Thursday, August 18, 2011

Devon #2 = Cowboy's And Aliens

Cowboy's and Aliens is a movie involving both cowboys and aliens. Well, ok, there is a bit more to it than that. Daniel Craig is a cowboy who wakes up somewhere in the old west with no memory and a strange metal armband. He soon discovers that he was involved in a train robbery and that he stole the gold of Harrison Fords character, Woodrow Dolarhyde (damn, I can't help but love that name) a man who lords over a small town and generally looks to be the bad guy, before the aliens show up. Eventually the Aliens attack, steal loved ones of certain characters, and the main group of, well, cowboys, plus a child and a woman ("well, we've already got a child and a dog, why not a woman"), set off to save them. The gold heist is the thread that connects Harrison, Craig, and a gang of outlaws, and serves well as a way to create interesting relationships between the characters. And while Daniel Craig's sexist, ass kicking loner is a bit too similar to James Bond, Harrison Ford managed to lose all semblance of Indiana Jones or Han Solo, largely because his character is such a huge asshole. That can actually be said about most of the characters, save for the preacher of the group. They are all jerks at the start of the film, but develop into better people through their shared experience. Confidence is earned, racism is overcome, and forgiveness is given. This is actual character development, and sets Cowboy's and Aliens apart from being just a forgettable summer action film. Its not Oscar material, either, but it makes the action scenes better.

The Alien side of the equation may be a bit divisive. Simply put, they look like the creature from the black lagoon. They are fish people. However, I didn't mind if they were a little silly, as they serve as great villains through their superior technology compared to cowboys of the early nineteen hundreds, they provide some decent jump cut scares, and for the last few minutes that Craig is inside their ship, they move in a way that evokes the Xenomorph from Alien, which is really damn creepy.

This is a pretty good film, which, to be honest, really surprised me. I was expecting to watch James Bond and Indiana Jones wearing cowboy hats and punching monsters, but instead i saw something better. Mind you, I don't want to build this up to be an amazing film, because it wasn't (one twist may pull you out of the experience completely, and it has a very slow start before the characters reveal themselves), but it was a damn (fairly) good one. Go see it, if not for it being a good movie, then because it has one of my favorite death scenes ever, involving an Alien, a gold collecting machine, and the wrath of Daniel Craig.

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