Thursday, August 04, 2011

Movie Review: Cowboys & Aliens w/ LOTS OF SPOILERS

Cowboys & Aliens Review.
Don't yell at me! I warned you!

Tonight's movie, today's movie. Cowboys & Aliens was fun. I only give it like a 75% but that's not bad. That's nice average score, a solid C. I wouldn't be happy with it if it were a grade, but as a movie goes it was not at all bad and while I only paid matinee price for it I'd have paid regular price and not felt cheated. The protagonist, James Bond AKA Daniel Craig, shows up in the desert at the start of the movie barefoot with amnesia, and a metal thing on his wrist. 

He is immediately accosted by three bad guys so he can show us, the audience that he's a bad assed fighter that doesn't need a gun to kick the ass of three people with guns. That pretty much sets the tone for the movie. He gets into a LOT of fights. He gets beat up some but he always wins his fights. He's the strong silent type and when he fights it's not the slow, deliberate punches or round houses. He explodes into action in violent bursts that go from punches to head butting to stabbing a guy in the thigh and at least a couple kicks to the groin. He fights dirty, hard, and to win and it's not pretty fighting. It's effective, and fun to watch. You can see the fight about to happen, you know the symptoms (pretty much someone disagrees with him) and then you sort of lean forward to see how fast it's going to be before he's the only one left standing. he doesn't do it without getting hurt either. He bleeds. It's good when the hero gets knocked down and hurt. They can't be heroes if they don't get back up again. Captain America didn't get knocked down enough. How can you act heroic by getting up and fighting again if you don't get knocked down? 007 gets knocked down a lot in this movie and that scrappy little British Agent keeps getting back up to dish out some damage!

Then there's the love interest. This is the part that makes me raise one eye-brow and say, "Really?" She's very hot, like Megan Fox but with normal people thumbs instead of chimp toes as thumbs. She knows something... she's got some secret knowledge that we don't know as the audience either but he notices she knows something but won't let on what... it seems weird that he picked up on it before we the audience did... but maybe he's smarter than us. He's a better fighter. So, she gets hurt in a big fight and he carries her for what looks like forever. He's all staggering and falling down and she looks like she dies on the walk there. His posse come along and find him and take her and she's all pale and her lips are all chapped and dried out... It's only been like, at most 2 hours and she's been being carried but she looks like she's been in the high desert for 2 days with no shelter. He looks fine, just tired. no chapped/cracked lips, nothing. he even waves off the water until she has some. That's when they point out she's dead. I'd think you would notice the difference between live body and dead body... maybe he thought she was napping though... and always shat herself when she slept. (Assuming what I learned on South Park was correct and that's that you poop when you die.) 

Now, here come indians that kidnap them. Uh oh! What's this? He won't fight? He must need these indians later. He's dragged to secret indian camp, staggering and dazed. They carry her dead body, evidently first wrapping it in a sheet?!? Where'd they get the sheet? No clue. Don't stumble over that. Stumble over this! The chick that for some reason he's in love with maybe? He can't remember, but possibly because maybe she knows his past? Maybe something... he carried her two hours, maybe three? through the desert.. their indian captors toss her on a giant bon fire like it's nothing; like she's a bag of wood. He just sits there and watches. 

That's not enough though. When the body burns up and the flames turn into the shape of an angel and then of a woman and she steps out of the fire buck naked he walks up and wraps a blanket around her like it happens every day. Nobody screamed. Nobody ran off into the night? Nothing. They just watched her come out of the fire, wrap up in a blanket and say, "Oh. Yeah. I guess I should have mentioned I'm an alien too, but I'm a good alien here to help you fight the gold stealing bad aliens because you know... aliens like gold too!"

That's when I went, "Really?" I get Deus Ex Machina but Really? Alien hottie was the best tool they could come up with to explain what was going on? Don't worry... she didn't stick around. She took the super gun off his wrist climbed into the belly of the ship and sacrificed herself blowing it and all up so the aliens would figure out the earth was too tough to mess with so they better just stay the hell away. I'm not kidding. Since he'd already seen her die once he pretty much shrugged it off and went back to his old house that he remembered finally after an indian ritual involving drinking something out of a cup... probably made with spit and mushrooms, and laying in a sweat lodge (Yah... a sweat lodge after almost dehydrating to death in the desert carrying your dead girlfriend. Hey... I don't write these things. I just report on them.) He went back to his home and I guess moved in.

You'll notice I didn't talk about Harrison Ford at all in that little spoiler laden review of the movie. That's because while he was a supporting actor his role didn't matter one bit to the movie. If he'd been left out like I just did it wouldn't have mattered. Which is too bad. He's a great actor but he was in a role that wasn't important to the plot of the story. He had a sub-plot that was interesting, but it wasn't even the B story in a Seinfeld episode. It really looked tacked on. 

He's getting old. When he was jumping from rock to rock in the desert badlands he looked every day of his 69 years (born 7/13/1942). His story arc went something along the lines of he was rich asshole cattle farmer that ran the town with a spoiled worthless son he didn't like but had to take care of because he was his son... with a cattle hand that was the son he never had... to losing the cattle hand after the cattle-hand confessed his undying love for his surrogate father Harrison "There's no Crystal-Skulls in this movie" Ford... to getting the recaptured bad son from the aliens along with lots of other people who stared into a bag of glow-stick juice and forgot their lives. Raves are bad mmkay? The son had amnesia but they didn't let the indians sweat lodge his memory back so Harrison Ford just, I guess, started treating him like he'd been the good son he had never been before and thereby Harrison Ford became nice guy, not grouchy, and with a good son he'd always wanted and they all lived happily ever after. It was a weirdly skeevy personality-ectomy they did on the son and everybody was OK with it since I guess if there's one less asshole in the world it's OK if it's due to some memory-sucking alien technology.

But again... I enjoyed myself. 
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