Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cowboys And Aliens

To begin with ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (Jon Favreau, 2011) is as preposterous as they come. You know what it is about, cowboys and aliens, strange bedfellows. But, how will those lawless men in horses with their vintage guns and gunpowder would face the aliens with their spaceships and laser beam weapons? Why, the cowboys would steal the alien weapons to use against them. And, if this particular cowboy, more of an outlaw actually, is played by Daniel Craig, you better believe him. At one point, after falling from a plane-like alien thingy to save the girl, the Craig character says, incredulously, “We were flying! I don’t want to do that again...” and, we are expected to believe that the film is set in the years before Wright brothers were born. And, no one is scared... What heroism!

Saying this, I must admit that ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ is an enjoyable film, in the tradition of a Hollywood blockbuster summer extravaganza, a weird mix of horses and spaceships, Western and sci-fi, not that sci-fi twist is essential to the plot, but it makes the action sequences fun, and gives the special effects department some work to do. As Roger Ebert would say, it’s a MacGuffin, to keep the plot running. But, it may be interesting to note that during the time of gold rush, even an alien race had joined the prospectors... The aliens are also into kidnapping us humans, to, you already know, study us.

But, how these gunslingers and Apache Indians know all this sci-fi mumbo-jumbo? Oh, like all good Westerns, there arrives a mysterious stranger, two in this case, a wanted killer wearing an alien bracelet (Craig) and a beautiful, mysterious lady (Olivia Wilde), who, for the record, is not from the world; they arrive into the town of Absolution, run by a villainous figure Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Food, looking all old and grumpy), and all this before the alien invasion begins and, then the mechanisms of Hollywood blockbuster take over...

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