By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
When genres collide, you don’t always know what to expect.
But the marketing campaign and the straight-forward title of “Cowboys & Aliens” makes things abundantly clear.
Jake (Daniel Craig) wakes up and doesn’t know where he is or who he is. On his wrist is an odd metal device that refuses to come off.
A trio of opportunistic men show up and assume Jake’s an escaped prisoner. The unarmed Jake dispatches them with brutal efficiency.
Right away, I’m thinking, This is good, and we’re only into the first five minutes.
Col. Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and Jake are cut from the same hard, mean stuff. In a movie called “Cowboys,” the pair of them and their allies would face off over two hours of screen time.
But the aliens in the title unleash a technologically advanced attack on an Old West town. They kill some and kidnap others.
Clearly, the aliens believe they’re a superior race, but Jake, Dolarhyde and the rest are rugged, unyielding characters who’d rather die fighting than run scared.
Nat (Adam Beach) is an Indian who was raised by Dolarhyde, and he helps form a key alliance. The movie could’ve been called “Cowboys & Indians & Aliens.”
Ella (Olivia Wilde) has lost loved ones to the aliens, too. She wears a dress with a holster slung around her hips, and she’s as tough as anyone else.
My ten-gallon hat goes off to Jon Favreau, who directed this amalgamation of genres into a summer thrill ride. There’s humor, gallow’s and otherwise, along with scenes that had me twisting in my seat.
The cast and crew didn’t do a seamless job. I realized I was in a theater a few times, trying to process all the action on screen, but that’s a minor quibble.
I give “Cowboys & Aliens” an A.
It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
Roadkill Bill, Wizard 106.7
He gives the movie a B.
“It was ‘Independence Day’ meets “The Searchers’ I had a good time.”
Kelli Karlson Wizard 106.7. She gives it a B plus.
“I loved it and will see it again.”