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Carl the Critic: Reviews "Cowboys and Aliens" [Caution: Contains Plot Spoilers]

Updated on August 25, 2014

"Cowboys & Aliens" Poster

Cowboys and Aliens

First let me just say that long ago, I reviewed a movie called "Paul" and I made a big mistake that was kindly pointed out by one of my fellow readers:

"It's 'Cowboys AND Allens' not 'Cowboys Vs Allens' dumasss!"

Of course me being the bigger man I did what any decent person would do and flagged the comment as spam. But in all seriousness the title of the movie is "Cowboys and Aliens" not "Cowboys Vs. Allens". Sorry if that offends anyone else but now let's proceed.

Expectations/Experience: Another week, and another alien movie in theaters. And like "Super 8" this one is produced by Steven Spielberg. But this is an alien movie with a difference because it is also a western. The western genre is becoming more and more like the whore of the genres because it is the only one that has been combined into every genre known to man (except for pure fantasy of course, but what would that be like? All I can think of is if you take the characters from "Lord of the Rings" and change the setting to the wild west, gave Sauron an evil handle bar mustache, and made Gollum a crazy prospector.)
When I saw the trailer for "Cowboys & Aliens", I thought that this was going to be terrible, not because it is a mix between the two genres western and science fiction, but because of the title. To me a title like "Cowboys and Aliens" just doesn't really sound like a film that wants to be taken seriously. But after doing my research I discovered that this is indeed based on a comic book series by the same name. Since then I had become more and more fascinated with the story and began to wonder if the film will be good.

Story: Daniel Craig plays a stranger who wakes up with a bad case of plot convenient amnesia and a fashionable bracelet on his wrists. He has no idea who he is, and unfortunately for him, no one in town of Absolution, Arizona is willing to help him because he is a stranger and therefore must be a bad person. Not only that, but he closely resembles an outlaw, Jake Lonergan, who is wanted for "arson, assault, mayhem, and hijacking", all things that suck to be accused of when you can't remember who you are. And then gigantic spaceships come and start attacking the Absolution. It's up to our hero, the local cowboy Woodrow Dolarhyde, a woman named Alice, an Indian servant named Nat Colorado, a nerdy doctor named Doc who is a bit of a wimp, a preacher named Meacham (who is my favorite character), a young boy named Emmett Taggart who is the sheriff's grandson, and a dog to save the town using his bracelet, and gun slingin' skills.

Critique: First of all, let me begin by saying that this is a film that is very character based. The selling point of the film is that every character is very likable, and you can really relate to them. The film does a great job establishing relationships between characters before the aliens kidnap loved ones.

The acting is overall very good, especially from Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Abigail Spencer, Clancy Brown, and Noah Ringer (who was in that one movie you might have heard about called "The Last Airbender"). The music works very well with the film's progression, the special effects were quite good, and the cinematography was down right amazing.

There are a few problems I can point out such as the fact that some scenes were very slow moving, some of the dialogue was campy a few times, and the major twists at the end were not really that amazing (in fact I still have questions). There was one scene I can think of I didn't like in particular, where Harrison Ford and Noah Ringer are talking, and Noah is concerned about his Grandfather who was kidnapped by the aliens. Harrison Ford then tells him a story about how he killed a man for the first time by slitting his throat. I guess he was telling him to don't worry be happy, but forgive me if I felt that that story was a little to harsh to tell a kid who has no Mom, or Dad, and whose Grandfather might be in the stomach of some over weight alien.

If you can over look some of the minor issues I said in my critique, then I highly recommend "Cowboys and Aliens". It is a good movie, full of heart, and great characters.

Overall: Taking all factors into account I gave "Cowboys and Aliens" a 8.9 out of 10.

Spoilers: If you don't want to see the movie because you feel that it is going to be too stupid or you don't like either genre of western or science fiction here are some spoilers:

  • People who die: Meacham (The Preacher), Alice (she actually dies twice in the movie), Nat Colorado (The Indian Servant), and the Dog
  • Major twist:
    Alice is an alien who is seeking revenge of the evil aliens that are attacking the people on earth. She tells everyone that the reason why the aliens have come to earth is because they want (and let's be reasonable about this) gold. Why do they want gold? Because it looks pretty (actually this is not explained well in the film).
  • Every one is saved and all the aliens die, and Daniel Craig (who really is Jake Lonergan, a bandit who left his gang of criminals to marry a prostitute) rides off into the sunset.

What about you?

If you saw "Cowboys and Aliens" what did you think?

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    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for your votes and comments Sunshine625 :) Glad you liked the movie

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      This movie was a must see for me due to it's title alone...Cowboys for me and Aliens for my of both worlds! We both really enjoyed it. Some parts were a bit far-fetched but we left the theater content with our dose of cowboys and aliens :) Voted UP/Awesome!

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      lol No no, you aren't boring me and thank you for your comment. I have gotten worse comments too, Like on my video review of "Cowboys and Aliens" one person wrote "Cowbutts and Anal Ants?" as if he misheard what I said (it's not as bad as saying I should be "castrated" but it was one of those "WTF moments"). I usually ignore hateful comments unless they are valid points, which I take to heart for later videos, and reviews.

      Trolls are out there, but being a movie Critic I like to think of myself as a Professional Troll (a hideous creature who lives under a bridge, hands out business cards, and gets paid.) The best thing to do is ignore them, but if there's a hate comment like "Your Fraken Retertd" you can use this as an opportunity to humiliate them and say something like "Says the guy who spelled all three words wrong!" Or do what I did in this review and humiliate them in your reviews :) Thanks for your comment Steven, I appreciate it.

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 6 years ago

      Pretty solid review. I don't disagree with any of your points, and the video review was pretty good as well. To answer your query, there has been fantasy westerns in the past like "Jonah Hex." Sure, it's a superhero movie, but the character in that film is killed and brought back to life by Indian Shamans. And to make matters interesting, he can now speak to the dead as part of his super powers. Granted, the movie is very bad, but I just thought I bring that up.

      As far as what that guy said to you, I wouldn't let it bother you. Trust me, I've gotten worse comments than that before. Like when I reviewed "Jackass 3-D", I compared the cast's intelligence level to five year old children throughout the review. Of course, I did apologize to all five year old kids and their parents by the end, as they're way smarter than the cast of "Jackass." Needless to say, some guy name Tyrome (i think that's his name) said that he not only felt dumber for reading my review, but he told me (and I quote): "You deserve to be castrated. Beaten within an inch of your life, and forced to have someone s*** in your mouth!"

      Who knew that people really took film reviews that personally? lol. Although I didn't exactly delete the comment like I should have, I did respond to it. I just told the guy that reviews are nothing more than someone else's opinion of a film based on their observation. If you liked the film, then that's all that matters. However, I did tell the guy that he must live one sad and pathetic life to have one review ruin his day like that. Of course, that's just me. Like I told him in the rest of the comment I left for him, I don't always agree with Roger Ebert or Peter Travers, but I never take what they say personally, as that would be kind of sad. Then again, I guess you'll always have haters out there. In hindsight though, I think I probably should have done what you did, and not even dignify his comment with a response. Oh well. Can't please everyone.

      Anyway, sorry to bore you with that, but thanks again for writing this though, as I think you've probably written the best review on this movie that I've read thus far. Keep up the good work.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      Yeah it is a good, there are minor things that I had issues with, but this is a must see in my opinion. Thanks for the comment Susan, glad to hear from you :)

      (P.S. "Captain America" is also a good movie with some minor issues, but I think "Cowboys and Aliens" is better)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Almost went to see this last weekend but opted for Captain America instead. Maybe I will go and see this movie this upcoming weekend.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      Thanks Cogerson, yeah I noticed that "Surfs" was number 1 at the box office but both movies were really close. I hope you you like the movie and I'll be sure to make more web shows. Thanks for stopping by, commenting and voting :)

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Hey are off to a good start...enjoyed the written and the video...keep up the good work. At the box office, Aliens and Cowboys did not do as well as they were hoping, but I think I will try and see this movie based on your review. Voted up and useful.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      Thanks Rob, I hope you like it, it is a good movie. I'll be sure to read your review as soon you have it up :)

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      I'm planning to see this. I'll let you know what I think after I go, so thanks for the review, Carl. I know what to expect now.


    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 6 years ago

      lol okay, thank you vace.marsky :)

    • vace.marsky profile image

      vace.marsky 6 years ago from Europe

      This interest article. Think enough I'll watch movie