Warning: Minor Spoilers Below
I first heard about Cowboys and Aliens from my uncle David. He’s a sound technician who does a lot of work in New Mexico. After a bit of research I discovered who was attached to the movie. Three names sealed the deal for me: Jon Favreau, Daniel Craig, and Harrison Ford. Jon Favreau does great work, Daniel Craig is nice to look at (that’s shallow but true), and I’m pretty sure Harrison Ford is the first man I ever fell in love with. Names like that pretty much guaranteed I was going to enjoy it. And it was nice to know those names didn’t lie to me. The skeptical one this time was Mr. Doc. Normally he’s very gung-ho about movies and I’m the one with the grimace on my face trying to figure out if the movie is worth my time. I am very happy to report he left the theater with a much different outlook.
Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford play opposing men, forced to work together when aliens invade a small New Mexico town and abduct many residents including the local sheriff (Keith Carradine), Ford’s character’s son, and the wife of the saloon owner (Sam Rockwell).
Jake Lonergan, is played supremely well by Daniel Craig. He’s a man who is slowly remembering the horrors he faced at the hands of the aliens, including being forced to watch them dissect and then kill his wife, and being partially cut open with a laser scalpel. He manages to steal one of the alien’s bracelets and escape, which leads to the opening scene where he wakes up in the desert with no memory, shoes, or gun and a wound he can’t explain.
Woodrow Dolarhyde, played by the always fantastic Harrison Ford, is the local cattle baron who feels that the whole town should bow down to him because his cattle business is the reason the town manages to stay afloat. His son Percy is a spoiled brat who uses his name to get out of trouble. Dolarhyde came to town to get Percy out of jail after he accidentally shot a deputy.
As the movie progresses Jake and Dolarhyde are forced to reconcile their differences, Jake had stolen gold from Dolarhyde, in order to mount a rescue mission. They set out the morning after the abductions, their party including the mysterious Ella, who knows more than she lets on, Emmett, the son of the sherrif, and a group of Dolarhyde’s ranch hands. Through a rather exciting set of events the townsfolk meet up with a band of Apaches, and a gang of outlaws formerly lead by Jake. Together the group manages to mount a rescue mission that leads them to the alien stronghold, which is their buried ship. The climax of the movie involves cowboys on horseback fighting aliens who run like big cats and wield energy cannons while the cowboys are armed with revolvers, and the Apache have spears, clubs and bows and arrows.
Final Verdict: 4.75 out of 5 on the action scale. And it gets a definite10 out of 10 on the pretty people scale, thanks to Mr. Ford, Mr. Craig and Ms. Wilde. Definitely one to see in the theaters.