As I left the cinema, after watching Cowboys and Aliens, my wife and I discussed the fact that there was little to no plot throughout. Neither of us could fathom exactly why the aliens were there, nor who one of the central characters was. My wife turned to me after I stated I had no clue what the basic premise was, her reply was ‘who knows?’ accentuated by a sigh. I can say for thing, the raft of writers and producers certainly didn’t.
According to IMDB there are 17 people noted on the production of the film:
|Bobby Cohen||….||executive producer|
|Jon Favreau||….||executive producer|
|Karen Johnson||….||associate producer|
|Randy Greenberg||….||executive producer|
|Ryan Kavanaugh||….||executive producer|
|Scott Mitchell Rosenberg||….||producer|
|Steven Spielberg||….||executive producer|
|Denis L. Stewart||….||executive producer|
This film is a prime example of too many cooks. Movie making by Hollywood comity at its best. While these 17 people umm’d and aah’d about the structure of the picture, Favreau seems blinded by the stars. His direction is carrying the world on its shoulders for fear of disappointing the big names on board. The word I’m looking for is ‘muddled’.
It’s terribly frustrating that all of these massive Hollywood names couldn’t rub two sticks together and create a spark.
If the lack of plot wasn’t galling enough, how about the fact the the standout actor was the brilliant (as usual) Sam Rockwell who was relegated to stand on the sides while Harrison Ford was obviously only cast for his trademark sneer and Daniel Craig served his purpose as eye candy after strutting around bare chested.
I’d love to say what a terrible film it is, but that wouldn’t be true. However, it’s certainly not the Summer blockbuster that the consortium of A list staff thought it would be. It’s humourous in places and many of the action scenes will get your adrenaline pumping, but it’s throwaway popcorn cinema at best.
Even the inclusion of grotesque CGI aliens isn’t enough to elevate this film. The creatures are so overworked that they look ridiculous and the only fear felt in the crowd was from making people jump using off screen tension.
It seems that this Summer is dedicated to trying to recapture the days when Independence Day ruled the roost. If you want to see a film with aliens in it, see Super 8.
(Side note – I’m a bit in love with Olivia Wilde, now)