This review of “Cowboys and Aliens” originally appears on KTKA-49.
The new movie “Cowboys and Aliens” is a perfect example of truth in advertising. The title says it all. There are cowboys and there are aliens. And that’s about it.
Taking the title of the 2006 graphic novel that it’s based on and none of the story, “Cowboys and Aliens” is kind of like the Will Smith debacle “Wild Wild West.” That movie was a failed comedy that was only funny unintentionally, while this one is intentionally not funny and therefore a real bore.
The real question is: How did a movie produced by Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg and directed by “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau end up being so joyless?
For starters, both Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford play cowboys with the same kind of overbearing solemnity and poor Olivia Wilde doesn’t have anything to do except look mysterious in the background.
Secondly, it’s not a very creative genre mash-up. The western part of the story features worn-out clichés that the actors can’t make any better, and the only thing even mildly interesting about the sci-fi part is the design of the creatures who—I have to admit—are actually pretty scary.
Cool aliens don’t make up for a terrible script, though, which is—get this—credited to no less than six screenwriters. “Cowboys and Aliens” should have been called “Cliches and Stereotypes.” Or, better yet, “Dull and Duller.”