Cowboys and Aliens [2011]

Starting up, everything seems fine. Daniel Craig looks and moves and sounds like a worthy successor to Clint Eastwood. The introduction has a way of making all the Western clichés feel like new ideas. But then you slowly start to realize the movie’s a joke and so are its characters. The star cast struggles to make do with the material; Harrison Ford is particularly (and quite unusually) weak. The narrative is boring and uninvolving, even during the action sequences, which are few and far between.

The visuals are another story; the film’s neatly photographed by Matthew Libatique. For some reason, the two styles mesh perfectly: the dusty, brown hues of the Old West and the sleek, clean, silver and blue tones of the future. But, as much as I want to find something else to praise about Cowboys & Aliens, there’s just no way around it: this movie should’ve been better but it ended up wasting an innovative concept. It pains me to accept that this is one of the worst films of the year, and to say it was disappointing would be a crass understatement.

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