I've seen a lot of negative reviews on this movie, and there are a good number of positive ones. Don't bother reading either! JUST GO SEE IT! It is TOO much fun to miss. Can you imagine James Bond and Indiana Jones in the same movie! But I mean when they're really on their game. Daniel Craig brings his steely 007 persona to his cowboy role, as Harrison Ford does his Indiana Jones persona, but with a more potent weapon than his bullwhip - his curmudgeon-ness! They are great as cowboys!
Also don't think you know what happens in the movie based on reviewers and teasers - the film makers have done a good job of hiding all the nooks and crannies to this movie. So you're in for some nice surprises.
This movie is sheer entertainment and I don't find it necessary to intellectualize or pick it apart in terms of storytelling. It's too much fun to do that. But if I had to, I suppose that the aliens kind of leave you flat - certainly no sense of humor among that bunch. And I suppose I could say that the heroes are only as good as the villains...BUT it's Harrison Ford & Daniel Craig!!!! Who cares about the villains when you're having this much fun!
And if I have to be "serious," I do think that the SciFi aspect works with the Western side if you see the aliens as the "savages" vs. civilization - which in Cowboys & Aliens means both white and Native American defending a common home, which is kind of nice to see.
However, if you compare the movie to "pure" Westerns, then the Coen Brothers True Grit is way beyond it, as is the movie it is supposedly patterned after, The Searchers. But that wouldn't be a "fair" comparison since Cowboys & Aliens is a cross-genre movie, not a "pure" Western. And underscoring my main point here, the movie is sheer entertainment - go to see it for the fun of it and not to analyze it! You will not be disappointed!
I know I'm "cheer leading" here, but I just had so much fun with this movie, it's hard not to!
I hope to put up a review of the new Chinese movie, Wu Xia, in the next installment of this blog - I want to watch it one more time before I write.