Or is it more like this?
Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford
3.5 stars (out of 4)
I think a studio must have a lot of confidence in a film to name it Cowboys and Aliens. It sounds like its meant for a child. I assure you readers, this is the best you can possibly make a movie with a title this stupid.
The cast of this film is amazing. I remember Favreau having a show where he just said around talking with his celebrity friends over dinner. It must have been authentic considering the cast that signed on to this film. We all know that Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are going to deliver, and they do. The supporting cast is what really carries the film. Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano and Keith Carradine are all accomplished actors that are used to starring in films. They all seem completely devoted to their supporting roles despite their accomplishments.
Favreau commits to the western. The length of the film is primarily consumed by a western film. All of the archetypal characters are present. There's a bartender, sheriff, outlaw and rancher. The rancher is the chief contributor to the town's economy. When his son is arrested for getting drunk and accidentally shooting a deputy, the rancher is determined to make sure he's not turned over to the Marshalls. This is all what you'd expect from a traditional western. Then aliens start taking people.
What makes the plot work is the way these characters respond to alien invasion. They're not so concerned that aliens are invading, they just want to track down their families and get them back. They react to the problem the same way they'd react to any problem, by joining forces with some Native Americans and attacking with guns, arrows and spears.
I never imagined this movie would be so enjoyable. I'm not sure any other director could have pulled this film off without it having the feel of a Japanese monster movie. Don't be scared by the title, its not disappointing.