Monday, 21 November 2011

Cowboys & Aliens, dir. Jon Favreau, scr. Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, st. Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell

Cowboys & Aliens, I'm sure wears its title as some kind of self-meta-referencial, heart-sleeved genre in-joke, and that would have been great if it had been densely plotted, full of trope-defying characters and freshly spun set-pieces. Sadly, it's none of these things. What a shame for a movie that boasts Indiana Jones AND James Bond. AND Quorra from Tron: Legacy. Once more I find myself sighing and repeating that films like this aren't bad films per se, they're just utterly lacking. Ford has some kind of redemptive path we're supposed to be following made totally redundant by the lack of clarity that he was ever such a bastard in the first place, the stoic iciness Craig puts to such effective use as 007 comes off looking like evidence of a severely underwritten part, Rockwell's so bland I though he was Eric Stoltz at first, and I KNOW there's a role for the sublimely talented Olivia Wilde out there just waiting to stimulate her into giving us a performance worthy of her considerable talent; yet, for woe, this is not it. It's ambitious, I'll give Jon Favreau that, and it's a brave man who sets two grand old conventions in opposition, but like a charity fireworks display, it never quite delivers the bang you know in your heart it was never capable of giving but hoped it might. Cowboys & Aliens simply ends up being as uninspiring as its name.