Cowboys & Aliens

I haven't read the original comic, although if Fred Van Lente was involved, I suspect it may be a winner. The film is great tho, not that you would know it from the reviews. Peter Bradshaw completely misses the point (clearly spelled out by the filmmakers themselves), as well just getting things wrong (the bracelet WAS explained!). Also, the Wild Wild West comparisons are just lazy. There is no trace of Steampunk in this film, nor is it going for buddy-film comedy.

Obv, we'll need to go over the basics for the benefit of those critics who weren't concentrating at their screenings. Cowboys & Aliens has a premise based on a pun, quaintly enough. Cowboys & Indians IT AIN'T. Instead, the cowboys get to experience the genocidal end of imperialism themselves -- here's what happens when more powerful guys with the big guns and the grasping hearts (quite literally, turns out) come round to steal your stuff. No fun at all, is it? MIGHT need to hook-up with those Indians you were killing off in order to deal with these BIGGER bastards. (There's also a weird absolution arc where the adopted son forgives the sins of his father... don't know how that would play with modern Native Americans).

What abt Olivia Wilde's character, tho? Boring romantic interest, maybe. But notice her origin: the bastard aliens destroyed her 'people'. Also notice the finale where she climbs into the middle of the alien tower-spaceship and blows it to pieces. Also notice her resurrection by fire. Comment on tyranny / patriarchy / phallocentrism? Is Ella an ambassador from a freer world destroying herself to destroy evil? Will she rise again? Like JESUS? Am I just making shit up? ...JUST making shit up?

Religion also covered. There's a brilliant funeral scene in which Sam Rockwell pretty much summarizes the creed (I suspect) many Americans uphold in practice. Innocence to experience also covered. A little boy has to learn how to use his knife (ahem) when faced with the world's horrors. I'm thinking Favreau and his eight writers (!) hit a lot of profundity with their wisecracking cowboy show. A slight problem with pacing (the film is 20 mins too long) isn't gonna take away from that. Don't know about the comic, but the film is DEFFO a winner.


  1. An interesting take there, obviously my review is in stark contrast, but I like the aspects you discuss here.

  2. Thank you! I think mine's a minority view, just because I can be extremely lenient when it comes to pace and plot if I think a film has interesting ideas or characters. Hence I wouldn't argue with a lot of what you say in your review.