Cowboys & Aliens Reviews
[Favreau] wavers uncertainly between goofy pastiche and seriousness in a movie that wastes its title and misses the opportunity to play with, you know, ideas about the western and science-fiction horror.
It really is "Aliens'' on the open plains, "Independence Day'' for the nation's centennial, and what the movie lacks in originality and stick-to-your-ribs Western authenticity, it makes up for in pell-mell multiplex entertainment.
As in his handling of the first Iron Man, [Favreau] displays here the rare ability to patiently lay down the track along which his narrative will move, and he gets some good work from his performers.
The storytelling, punctuated by incoherent flashbacks, is often inscrutable: I'm still trying to figure out which side of the cosmos gave birth to the woman played by Olivia Wilde.
Alien-invasion aficionados should be pleased. Western nostalgists may be pleasantly surprised. Fans of cowboys-versus-aliens movies, well, it's been a long wait and here's your movie.
The filmmakers here (who include director Jon Favreau (Iron Man), five credited writers, and countless special-effects technicians) don't seem to have agreed on whether they're paying homage to these genres or mocking them.
Tonally, the movie is off: not quite as sober and majestic as the John Ford westerns it's inspired by, nor as ironic and irreverent as, well, Favreau's two Iron Man films.
"Cowboys & Aliens" is exactly what it sounds like: a cowboy movie and an alien movie thrown together, a genre mash-up that's more fun than good, but pretty good nonetheless.