Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Cowboys & Aliens"

The long-anticipated (at least by me) Cowboys & Aliens, the latest from indie actor turned blockbuster director Jon Favreau, makes no real sense, but it would probably be less fun if it wasted time boring us with logic. Taking a variety of stock Western characters – the mysterious man with no name (Daniel Craig), the feisty heroine (Olivia Wilde), the ruthless landowner (Harrison Ford), the doughty lawman (Keith Carradine), the annoyingly earnest child (Noah Ringer), the weak-willed saloon-owner (Sam Rockwell) – and adding a small-scale invasion by vicious creatures from outer space, (cf “Attack The Block”), it’s very entertaining. The performances are flawless, and the incongruity of the CGI in the Old West setting merely adds to the general dislocatory effect. Given that the aliens are sufficiently advanced technologically to have travelled across vast galaxies in ships equipped with laser-blasters, they seem curiously vulnerable to Earth bullets, knives, arrows, etc, but such minor practical considerations are of less import than the general theme of disparate forces coming together to fight a common enemy. It probably won’t live long in the memory, but one applauds the audacity of the premise, and the slickness of its execution.

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