Full review available at the Herald.

A movie called Cowboys & Aliens is a movie I should like. A movie directed by Jon Favreau is a movie I should like. Jon Favreau directed Cowboys & Aliens. I didn’t like Cowboys & Aliens.

I cover this pretty thoroughly in the review, but I felt like this one is a case of Too Many Writers Syndrome. Typically, if you see a movie with a shitload of writers attached, that movie will be either a) an incomprehensible, wild disaster or b) a big bland dull-fest where nothing really pays off the way it should. Cowboys & Aliens is the latter.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with it. But I have a hard time understanding how on Earth a movie with this name feels like something I’ve seen a hundred times before. Daniel Craig is a man of few words and many ass-kickings. Olivia Wilde is a semi-mysterious love interest with an idiotic secret. (The secret isn’t idiotic because it’s nonsense–it’s logical enough–it’s idiotic that it gets like one sentence of explanation before never being discussed again. It’s like the whole Armand Tanzanian thing in sci-fi western action movie form.)

I was entertained, I guess!, but I was also pretty let down. I didn’t anticipate Cowboys & Aliens would be a sure-fire slam dunk. I was impressed enough by the cast, the director, and the concept to think it could have been a big success. I don’t think that will be the case.

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