“Cowboys and Aliens” is a fun movie, if not one that’ll change your life in any noticeable way. The title pretty much tells you what the movie will be about. Still, it’s been so long since we saw a cowboy movie–let alone cowboys who had thoughts that originated above the waist–that I was glad to see men (and woman) a-horseback again.
The movie starts with James Bond waking up in the desert, shoeless, yet accessorized by a really snazzy bracelet. Before he can even stand up, he’s accosted by Newly from “Gunsmoke” who, with his not-too-well-coifed or overly bright sons, tries to take him in assuming the bracelet to be an indication of a prison break. Bond can’t remember who he is, but he remembers how to fight and, soon, is riding into town in clothing furnished by Newly & Sons.
In the town he discovers that one of the Carradines is the remarkably upstanding sheriff, the preacher is a sincere but somewhat foul-mouthed person I probably should remember and the bar is run by Guy from “Galaxy Quest”. If that weren’t enough trouble, Mutt2 is terrorizing the town because his father, Indiana Jones, is rich and hard and takes in Apaches. The girl from “Tron: Legacy” is there, too, though it takes a long time to figure out why.
After the old west town is attacked by aliens–who lasso their victims and jerk them into the sky–Bond, Indy and the girl lead a posse of townies, outlaws and Indians into the New Mexico dessert to find them all. If this sounds confusing, it’s not, really. But one thing is was, was unpredictable. In spite of the fact that I was thinking the title gave everything away, for the whole movie I never knew what was coming next. When I thought I knew, I was wrong. It turns out that the director who brought us “Elf” really knows how to tell a story.
I only have two quibbles with this movie. 1] there’s too much foul language and it rarely ever serves the plot or the characters well. B] For all the writers of this movie (there are 5 listed and rumor has it many more could have been credited) I kept thinking how much better it could have been if Louis L’Amour had been around to write it.
P.S. If you want to read a really good western, check out my novel “Overstreet“!