A cowboy(Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert. No memory of where he came from or what his name is. All he has is a picture of a women he knows is important to him and a large metal bracelet attached to his arm. From there he finds a small town where his past catches up to him. He meets a gun slingling woman(Olivia Wilde) and gets mixed in with a local rancher (Harrison Ford). He quickly finds out he is a wanted man. Before things can go down old west style, aliens show up, snatch up several people and leave. Everyone must band together and track down the aliens to rescue those who have been taken.
So you read the title and automatically roll your eyes, but once you get past that this movie is frankly something very special. It basically plays with an idea everyone always mentions: “Why didn’t aliens ever invade us in the past?”. Well they play with a lot of great ideas here. First off it is a great Western. Craig’s character is just an amazing bad ass and you can’t help but smile at how old school the movie feels. We get heroes who are tough guys, not afraid to shoot their way out of a bad spot. The movie tosses a lot of character at us and it kind of can get over whelming. Director Jon Favreau who brought us Iron Man 1 and 2 just has a very smooth style. The action feels old school but always keeps us on our toes. Every scene in this movie plays up what makes Westerns great but also making us miss the good old days of adventure films.
Now the aliens are kind of been there done that. They are giant reptilian things with ships that remind us of other ships. The cool thing here though since we’re dealing with the wild west is how the aliens work with it. The use high tech wires to snatch people up which is great. We also find out that simply the aliens are here for gold. This might give you pause but then you just realize that in the old west everyone is out there for gold… So why not the aliens?
The final battle is a little but of a mess, still there are some great moments mixed in and I dug the concept of how the Native Americans got involved. Usually in a film like this they would be throw away characters, here they are actually a key piece to facing off with the aliens. I’d go on with the review but I don’t want to ruin some of the fun. This movie amazingly avoids being campy which I think people should find a miracle. It’s a layered story that is a blast, most of the jokes work, the action is solid. To sum it up Cowboys and Aliens is everything a summer movie should be and you really shouldn’t miss it.