Cowboys and Aliens Review – Ridiculous Garbage

By Naveen

If any of you biped smart-asses out there think only Bollywood clowns and Kollywood swines are capable of unleashing mind-numbing trash on unsuspecting moviegoers then you’d better think again.

Jon Favreau (Director) has proved to y’all simpletons that Hollywood is second to none when it comes to putting forth sophomoric drivel.


Jake (Daniel Craig) wakes up with a bloody injury but no memory in the middle of a desert in the Wild West of the 1800s. He has a mysterious futuristic bracelet on his arm that does not come off.

His quest to find out more about himself takes him to a small town run by Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) where he comes to know that there is a price on his head. He also meets an enigmatic Ella (Olivia Wilde) who keeps following him.

Mysterious alien attacks happen in the small town.

Random people, including Dolarhyde’s son, are captured by the Aliens. Jake’s sudden memory flashbacks tell him that his girl friend was also a victim of the aliens.

So, Jake and Dolarhyde unite to fight the aliens, release the captured people and save the world.

How they do it forms the rest of the story.

Story, Screenplay and the Cast

Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have written the story along with Steve Oedekerk. They are also responsible for the shoddy screenplay along with Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci.

With so many people doing the story and screenplay it is hardly any surprise that the end result was as messy as mucus.

The movie began well but as the “plot” unfolds I got a distinct impression that the director had no idea what to do next. The entire movie seemed like an experiment in extempore film-making.

It seems like the 5-6 names mentioned above pooled in crazy ideas from other Hollywood blockbusters such as “Aliens”, “Independence Day”, Western classics, War of the Worlds, Bourne etc. and hit upon the unique idea of pitting Cowboys against Aliens (well, what else could they do? Predators had already fought aliens and The Terminator is busy avoiding Alimony). Throw in the retired Indiana Jones and out of work James Bond and hopefully you’ll have a nice little golden egg in the form of a summer blockbuster.

Who gives a rat’s ass  about quality and logic?

It is unfathomable as to why prestigious A list stars like Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig would get involved in this kind of a thing.

Oh well, there’s the lucre, of course.

This is Daniel Craig’s movie and he gives a fine performance as the dangerous criminal who has lost his memory. He brings the same raw energy to this role as he did in Casino Royale.

Harrison Ford is completely miscast as Dolarhyde. While there was nothing wrong about his performance, his role was very poorly etched just as most of the movie. He plays a second fiddle with very little to do apart from looking worried all the time. It is beyond comprehension why Harrison Ford accepted this secondary role which is as important as an appendix is to humans.

Was it to save his sagging acting career just like his sagging skin and make some easy money? Well, why not?!

Olivia Wilde is probably there to just to have a female headcount in an otherwise all guy star cast. She isn’t the most prettiest or the best of actresses to write much about.

And what the hell was Steven Spielberg doing in this medley as the Executive Producer?

“Cowboys and Aliens” is touted as a high adrenaline Western + Science Fiction action movie.

The special effects and stunts were pretty average for such a movie. The effects were very obvious in a few scenes and the movie did not break any new grounds in its genre.

The movie was clichés galore.
Ø Harrison Ford gives a knife to a kid asking him to be a man and use it when needed. When the time comes, the Kid uses it to kill an Alien.
Ø There is another guy whose wife is captured by Aliens. He is trained to use guns but he is a lousy shot. You know he will get it right when the time comes and he does it.
Ø There is more to the mysterious Ella than what meets the eye. You know it and you get it.

Downright Ridiculous

Some things were downright ridiculous:
Ø The Aliens are supposed to be more advanced than Humans of 1800s but what you see is a bunch of drunken gorillas running around crazy.
Ø Why does Jake get thumped in the skull all the time when a bunch of new people walk into the screen?
Ø How come a hardened criminal becomes a goody two shoes after a thump in the head resulting in memory loss?
Ø The bracelet on Jake’s hand does not come off no matter what. Ella solves the problem in seconds by Kissing Jake and the bracelet simply falls off.
Ø The Aliens come to earth to collect gold. Humans are captured merely for study.
Ø The half-wit villagers chase away a few aliens with sticks and stones! Most of the action scenes were greeted with laughter in the theater where I watched the movie.


Are you looking for ways to effectively spend your valuable time and money over this weekend? Are you looking for ways to escape the summer heat? YES??

Then, I advise you to cool yourself in a pool watching pretty babes in their bare essentials or visit one the fine Indian restaurants reviewed by SI.

Avoid this preposterous parody of a movie… unless you have money to burn for unintended comedy.

Jake: They came here for the Gold
Dolarhyde: Gold? That is ridiculous. What are they going to do? Spend it?

The audience shares Dolarhyde’s above sentiment.

9 Responses to "Cowboys and Aliens Review – Ridiculous Garbage"

  1. filumlover   July 30, 2011 at 5:26 am

    All of Jon Favreau’s films except Iron man is trash. Swingers was good too, though he didn’t direct it IIRC. By the way a minor quibble, I thought independence day sucked big time(and all of Roland Emerich films, fwiw).

    • mihi_rex   July 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      I completely agree!

      Don’t forget about Michael Bay, the guy who only focuses on special effects and gives barely any attention to the story or the screenplay Responds:

      We vaguely remember his Bad Boys films to be watchable.

  2. AC   July 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for the review SI.

    My wife wanted to watch this movie with me. I think I will spare myself from this kodumai.

    When I look at directors like Favreau and Bay inflicting their garbage on moviegoers, I feel renewed appreciation for Steven Spielberg (I am only referring to his directorial efforts here). I know the auteur types contemptuously dismiss him as the creator of the “Summer Blockbuster” genre, but at the end of the day his movies are eminently watchable. While most of his movies have a lot of special effects, they are not at the expense of a tight screenplay. I also feel he brings the best out of his actors, be it Ford in Indiana Jones or diCaprio in “Catch me if you can”. Responds:

    In one of the great ironies of life, the real life Frank ‘Catch Me if You Can‘ Abagnale’s son works for the FBI.

  3. முனிAndy   August 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Attack the Block is getting better reviews. Responds:

    True, but it’s released on just 8 screens in the U.S.

    Maybe it’ll follow the Midnight in Parismodel, i.e. initially limited release and then wide release after the glowing reviews.

  4. abhi220   August 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    We watched Crazy, Stupid, Love and liked it even though there are a few cliche moments.

    Not as funny as Horrible Bosses, but still plenty of laugh.

    Might watch Midnight in Paris today.

    Will definitely watch Attack the Block since I love the genre. Fortunately it’s running in the nearest cineplex. Responds:

    Attack the Block is playing only at NYC (Regal Union Square 14 & AMC Empire 25) and LA. Too far from us. Why don’t you review it for SI?

    We watched Cedar Rapids last night. Good. Review coming later today.

  5. abhi220   August 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I am okay to do the review.

    But I will most probably watch it only this weekend.

    Btw,why don’t you watch ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ and do a review? There should be many who are interested.

    There are two main movie houses here. One is AMC and the other is Cineplex.

    Every tuesdays, ticket price are available at 50% in Cineplex and at AMC it is 50% for all shows before 12 PM everyday.

    Tickets are expensive here. Regular prices are $14 and $19 for IMAX, excluding taxes. 🙁

    Are there any similar offers over at your place? What are the ticker prices on an average there? Responds:

    1. I am okay to do the review….Tickets are expensive here.

    We’ll pay you $20 to watch and review Attack the Block tonight. Movies, always sooner the better.

    2. You write: What are the ticker prices on an average there?

    Ticket prices depend on theater and the movie.

    If it’s a Tamil/Telugu movie, ticket prices range from $12-30. $12 (Deiva Thirumagal), $18 (Badrinath) to $30 (Enthiran).

    Bollywood movies: $9.50 and above in good American theaters like Regal and AMC. $12 in crappy Indian theaters. BTW, that does not include gas, toll etc.

    Hollywood movies: $5-$15 depending on movie, show, 3D etc.

    We’ve not been keeping good health lately and not stepping out much.

    • Naveen   August 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      Get well soon SI! Responds:

      90% recovered!

      Will add your other Chicago pictures tonight or tomorrow morning.

    • abhi220   August 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      A little too late. I just got back from ‘Midnight in Paris’. In one word, I want to visit Paris.

      Hey, why did you put the review part and the expensive part together?

      SI: We’ll pay you…….

      Heck, NO. I feel so bad. The only reason I haven’t done the review you had asked me before is because I am lazy. Responds:

      1. Since three out of your seven-line previous comment was related to ticket pricing we thought you were hesitant to spend $14 or $19 on the ticket. No offense intended. 🙂

      2. You write: I just got back from ‘Midnight in Paris’. In one word, I want to visit Paris.

      Midnight in Paris was absolutely gorgeous.

      It’s a shame we didn’t get a single comment when we reviewed Midnight in Paris two months back.

      Downright depressing! 🙁

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