Cowboys and Aliens (Film)

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 September, 2011, 12:00am


The problem with Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens is that it tries to be a bit of everything - and ends up being nothing much at all.

We awake in 1875 with the stereotypical lone stranger, in the New Mexican desert. Clamped around his wrist is a mysterious, seemingly irremovable, metal cuff. This apparently confused stranger is tough-guy Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), a man with a price on his head. Slowly we learn the story behind his bracelet and lost memory.

And yes, it has something to do with aliens - large, slimy ones that have come to Earth in search of gold. Lonergan must join his enemies, including revenge-seeking Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), to fight the aliens and save the townsfolk of Absolution.

There is a romance, too. The mysterious Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde) travels with the alien-fighting gang, helping Lonergan recover his memory on the way.

So there we have it - romance, science fiction, cowboys, and Indians. There's a series of battles, ending in a showdown against the invading extra-terrestrials.

It ends up a jumble of genres, lacking structure and a clear sense of direction with many holes in its storyline. It would have been better as a well-scripted dark satire, or a sharp family comedy. As it stands, it's a rather cliched disappointment.