Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
High Desert Daily
(Victor Valley) The trailers have been playing for around a year now. The hype built behind Cowboys and Aliens is monstrous. With acting talent such as Daniel Craig (James Bond films) and Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), and being directed by Iron Man Director Jon Favreau, this film has summer blockbuster written all over it, right?
Unfortunately, this is how the west was wrong. Based off the 2006 graphic novel from Platinum Studios, Cowboys and Aliens shoots itself in the foot so many times, it’s a wonder it can even stand on its own. First, for any fans that may have read the graphic novel, like me, the only things this movie has in common with the source material is the name and the year it was set in. Yet, I can look past that, as long as the movie delivers an enjoyable experience. Sadly, almost falling asleep during the film isn’t very enjoyable.
The plot of the story is scattered, as are the characters in it. Jake (Craig) is an amnesiac mess when he awakens at the start of the film, as he notices the odd bracelet stuck to his wrist. Even as the movie progresses, Jake still has the appeal and charm of an amnesiac, and that is not a good thing. Action film star extraordinaire Harrison Ford plays Mr. Dolarhyde, an old, craggily former military man who now is more of a greedy entrepreneur. One of the problems here is that neither of the main stars are likable: both Craig’s and Ford’s characters do not connect with the audience, so by the end, we don’t really care what becomes of them.
The same can be said of the rest of the cast. Yes, Olivia Wilde is in it, and yes she is eye candy. But other than that, she is a mess of a character that has you questioning what you just saw on screen. The whining Doc, played by Sam Rockwell, may very well be the first emo in the Wild West. His constant downpour of negativity really scales the nerves. Dolarhyde’s son, Percy, is another example of not caring what happens to the character, since the main scene he is in he plays a complete jerk. Oh, and the aliens? They sport a very uninspired look, and you will get sick of seeing them on screen by the close of the film.
I wanted to love this film. I was hoping for an entertaining romp through the west, met with aliens and awesome action scenes. Instead I got a mediocre film with underused actors, a horrible plot and an ending that is no way earned by the climax. Well not a horrible film, I have definitely seen better in this summer of super heroes and apes.