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Cowboys & Aliens – yawn

Olivia Wilde with Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens.

Olivia Wilde with Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens.

Early reviews – Cowboys & Aliens

– by Shawn Conner

Highly anticipated new comic book movie Cowboys & Aliens opens nationwide today, and the verdict is in; it’s just not very exciting.

Standing at a very un-whopping 44 per cent on RottenTomatoes meta-scale, the graphic-novel-based flick from director Jon Favreau seems to be putting critics to sleep. Common complaints are that nothing much happens and the movie doesn’t live up to its title. Most agree, though, that stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are fine as the two heroes who unite to fight the alien hordes. Olivia Wilde appears as the… girl.

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens (2011).

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens.

So what’s missing? A sense of fun, argues Manohla Dargis of the New York Times, as well as a good script. This is especially unfortunate as I think a lot of people were pinning their hopes on Favreau and company on coming up with a solid mix of humour and action, a blend that has been in short supply in this summer’s overheated, bloated blockbusters.

We have some of the choicest Cowboys & Aliens review excerpts here:

“The movie is distilled from a comic-book world cooked up by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg that was transformed into a platitude-heavy script by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby from a screen story by – let me catch my breath – Mr. Ostby, Mr. Fergus and Steve Oedekerk. That’s a lot of writers (some with very fine credits) for a movie in which a woman lovingly reassures her bullied man that he has nothing to prove (meaning that he sure does, as the finale reveals), and in which Mr. Craig’s character says – drinking at a saloon bar with his back to the sheriff – that he doesn’t want any trouble. He doesn’t, kind of. But, gee, I bet he would have liked a better line.” – Manohla Dargis, the New York Times

“James Bond and Indiana Jones team up to fight cave trolls from Lord of the Rings who’ve come to Earth in the Black Fortress from Krull.” – Pete Vonder Haar, Houston Press

Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens (2011).

Daniel Craig enjoys a "What the--?" moment in Cowboys & Aliens.

“Bang! Bang! You’re Bored. What we get are leaden dialogue (“My name is Ella. Where did you get your bracelet?”), sophomoric chatter (“Don’t yank it. It’s not your pecker.), and clichéd gabbling (“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! How did they build this thing?”)” – Brandon Judell, CultureCatch

“The film doesn’t live; it merely exists, content to keep our eyeballs occupied without investing any more than is absolutely necessary.” – Rob Vaux, Mania.com

“Strong performances by the actors helped me buy into this idea hook, line and sinker – it’s crazy fun.” – Diana Saenger, ReviewExpress.com

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