This weekend in theaters, Favreau is back with two grumpy, bad-asses, Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford with his latest genre twist, Cowboys & Aliens. The film is big and bad, with plenty of explosions and known faces, but it never quite delivered on anything I was hoping for. The biggest problem with this film is that it’s very much a Western, with alien bad-guys, that never really evokes the natural comedy that one would imagine should come with a film titled “Cowboys& Aliens”. Find out more below…

The Players:

The Plot:

The film is set in Arizona in 1873 in the midst of the gold rush in the wild west, a time where men were real men. Suddenly a spaceship arrives to take over the Earth and a posse of cowboys have to take them down before all of their friends and family are farmed by the aliens.

The Good:

  • Rockwell: He has a small role, but was by far the most humorous and interesting to watch. Rockwell seems to have a power on screen that sucks you in and makes you care about him even in the most trivial of roles. Favreau also works best with funny, quick-witted actors, that seem to enjoy their time on camera. He knows how to let them play and they know how to deliver. The combo was great in the Iron Man films and wonderful here as well.
  • Scares: This was the first time in a long time that aliens actually managed to scare an audience. In a film that was very bland, it was great to have a few powerful “jump” moments… if only there would have been more of that in the tone from the start, this may have been a kick-ass film…

The Bad:

  • Lack of Humor: For a film with such a humorous title they sure do take themselves extremely seriously. Everything about the film is serious, and Favreau doesn’t thrive in that genre. The film touches on horror aspects which to me sounds like a fun idea… I guess it’s a little too late to throw our that suggestion though? If you’re going to make a film “Cowboys and Aliens,” give the audience what they’re looking for, some humor and an epic battle between the two, this film has neither of the two.
  • Pleasant, Tough Old Men: You have Craig and Harrison, who are both old(er), cranky, tough guys — use it to the film’s advantage! Don’t rely on daddy issues, let the two have at it! Watching them bounce off one another could have been extremely funny, but instead, they played everything so damn seriously and the script was written without much humor and therefore their relationship was extremely flat and there was no real chemistry between two. They’re naturally grouchy, and have great timing… let us see it!
  • Writing/Writers: 5 screenwriter, 3 story writers and 1 comic book writer = 1 inconsistent mess with no real sense of self and no consistent tone throughout.

Overall:

It’s just not what it could have been and it’s a shame, though it’s not bad with a drink and a bucket of popcorn.

Rating: 4.5/10

Cowboys & Aliens in theaters July 29th.

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