People like Westerns and people like Alien movies, so put them together and you have a hit!....right? Not so fast. This seems to be more of a dare then a statement. The dare? Can you take two popular genres, Westerns and Sci Fi, and make a great movie? The answer to that question? No, you can't make a great Western/Alien movie but you can make an average orignal movie. How? Take an original idea, like Cowboys and Aliens together, and load it with excellent actors and visually stunning special effects and poof, a decent movie.
So what's it about?
The old west, 1873 Arizona. A stranger (Daniel Craig) with no memory of his past has drifted into the town of Absolute trying to figure out who he is. His only clue is a strange metal shackle locked tightly around his wrist. The town of Absolute is run by a hardened cattle ranch owner, Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) who doesn't care about anything but his cattle, son and money. Percy, Woodrow's not so bright son, cares even less for the town folk and does whatever he wants, knowing his father can ruin any business in the town. Unfortunately for Percy, the stranger in town has no tolerance for a big mouth and doesn't care who his father is.
On one hot Arizona afternoon, Percy, knowing the town is under his thumb, strolls through town shooting his gun and intimidating the town folk. As Percy walks the streets, he comes across the stranger and demands his money. As Percy gets into the stranger's face, he is met with a knee to the groin. Embarrassed, Percy pull his pistol and fires wildly past the stranger, accidentally shooting a sheriff's deputy. With several witnesses, the sheriff has no choice but to take Percy into custody for the shooting, even after being warned what Percy's father would do. This turns the attention of the sheriff to the stranger who is recognized as Jake Lonergan, a man wanted on a $1000 reward. The sheriff and his men surround Jake and take him into custody. Confused, Jake is told he is being arrested for murder and kidnapping. Locked up, Jake starts to find out who he is, a wanted stage-coach robber whose wife is missing. Now Percy and Jake are both in jail waiting to be turned over to the US Marshalls.
On word of his son's arrest, Woodrow and his posse ride into town to get his son. Woodrow, being the big man of the town, doesn't care what the sheriff says and demands his boy back. Just as things get heated, a light in the distance catches the sheriff and Woodrow eye. As the lights get brighter and closer, the strange metal shackle on Jake's wrist starts to glow and beep. As Jake looks back up to the sky, Alien spaceships swarm, attacking the town. With each pass of the Alien ships, cables shot out lassoing people from the town bringing them up into the ship. The sheriff, Percy and several town folk are abducted during the attack. As Jake scrambles to get out of the line of fire, his shackle active into what seems to be an Alien gun. Seeing the ships coming around for another pass, Jake aims his wrist weapon and shots an Alien Ship, causing it to explode and crash. After that, the other ships to break off, leaving the town in a fiery mess.
With the ships seemly gone, the towns folk gathers around Jake to see this Alien weapon and figure out what has happened to Percy and their missing families. Confused, angry and afraid, Woodrow and the town folk agree they have to go after the alien ships to find their kin. Jake realizes that to find out who he is and how he got the shackle, he will have to ride with Woodrow and the town folk to find Percy and the other families. It's now first light and Jake, Woodrow and a posse of town folk set out after the Aliens to find out where they are hiding, get their kin back and kill the Aliens for what they did. Clip http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2899811353/
So "Cowboys and Aliens, really?".
Yes, really. It's original, well acted and has some good special effects. It's like Unforgiven meets Fire in the Sky, but not as good as either. Just for originality sake I suggest you see it. In the theaters? No. As a rental? Yes. Harrison Ford is great as a gruff and hardened retired Colonel, I would like to see him do more Westerns. I am a Sam Rockwell fan and he does a great job of being a timid bar owner. Daniel Craig is a good actor but not the Western type. The movie is a little slow at times and drifted into the individual charters personality flaws too much. My suggestion? Do yourself a favor, when you see Cowboys and Aliens, go in realizing it is more if an alien abduction movie that happens during 1873 rather than an alien verses cowboys battle action movie. You might like it more. Overall I think it's just a good movie, 3 out of 5, mostly for originality. PG13 for violence, brief nudity and strong langue. Enjoy!