Wednesday, 17 August 2011
REVIEW: COWBOYS & ALIENS
To boldly go where John Wayne never did.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Clancy Brown, Noah Ringer, Adam Beach & Sam Rockwell. Director: Jon Favreau. Screenplay: Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
Let's face it, everybody still wants to be a cowboy and every other movie these days focuses on alien invasion. So it's time we mixed the two together for the mother ship of all Summer blockbusters. After finishing tinkering around with 'Iron Man' director Jon Favreau decides instead to strap some metal around Daniel Craig's wrist and set about a wild-west story. As Craig's wrist weapon is the only thing that can save these Western gun-slingers from some extra terrestrial company you know where going to have an interesting film on our hands. Now as daft as the title is, 'Cowboys & Aliens' is a great play on words and genres, mixing the classic 'Cowboys and Indians' tale with some good, old-fashioned sci-fi.
Besides you can trust Favreau to deliver a cast-iron action epic with heart, smarts and a few belly laughs too. Especially with a great team behind him including Brian Grazer, the Ron Howard and the legend Steven Speilberg producing things. Also as this movie lasso's Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in for the lead roles you know this pictures in good hands. Besides if you where under threat you'd sure like James Bond and Indiana Jones on your side.
'Cowboys & Aliens' is a great tale of two periods, piecing together the classic hallmarks of western cinema with today's staple of big blockbuster special effects and Hollywood shine. Even with an awkward title and premise everything all fits together perfectly in a movie that you can really marvel at. It just works and this mix of old and new is refreshing in this Summer season of sequels and reboots.
Sure this is based on a classic comic-book but it's still an original film for a creatively starved industry. From appealing action, to easy on the eyes cinematography this movie takes you to all sorts of places. Still it's the cast that leads the charge, galloping on their horses. Daniel Craig shows exactly why he was worthy of big roles like 007 with a stellar star performance, while Harrison Ford just keeps adding to his legacy with another legendary performance. It's about time someone gave this icon a role like this. He may have not been able to take us out this world when the last 'Indiana Jones' movie met those from outer space but 'Cowboys and Indy' works just fine.
The support in this movie really is a saloon of talent from old hand Clancy Brown to young steed Noah Ringer. Favreau also brings Sam Rockwell from 'Iron Man 2 ' with him and the serious A-lister/top character actor really extends his range playing a saloon owner, he does really looks the part. Adam Beach (who starred in Clint Eastwood's (a man who's no stranger to westerns) epic 'Flags Of Our Fathers') gives this movie Indian blood and delivers a heartfelt performance also. Still however, it's Olivia Wilde's role as the love interest that really keeps things intriguing. The 'Tron: Legacy' star may not have brought Jeff Bridges 'True Grit' with her, but what she does bring is her own hardiness and determination.
This movie has a lot to live up to following in the spur steps of the aforementioned classic 'True Grit' and with competent, current competition like Speilberg's other sci-fi foray 'Super 8' (a film who's aliens look better). Still this picture could really win awards for coolest film of the year. Hey, no one said it was going to get any Oscars. From sublime set-pieces to slick alien ships this movie is a great special effects vessel. While the classic Western acting and dialogue-complete with extra ham-is something you'll love to get your teeth into. A movie current and nostalgic that will leave you smiling and tipping your hat, this wild ride is about to invade the box-office. TIM DAVID HARVEY.