Jumble of ideas fail to fire

Jumble of ideas fail to fire

The problem with Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens is that it tries to be a bit of everything and ends up being nothing much at all.

We awake in 1875 with the stereotypical lone stranger, in the New Mexican desert. Clamped around his wrist, is a mysterious, seemingly irremovable, metal cuff. This apparently confused stranger is tough-guy Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), a man with a price on his head. Slowly we learn the story behind his bracelet and lost memory.

And yes, it has something to do with aliens. Large, slimy ones that have come to Earth in search of gold. Lonergan must join his enemies, including revenge-seeking Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), to battle the aliens and save the abducted townsfolk of Absolution.

There is a romance, too. The mysterious Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde) travels with the alien-fighting posse, helping Lonergan recover his memory on the way.

So there we have it - romance, science fiction, cowboys - and let's not forget the Indians - a series of battles between the whole lot of them, all culminating in a final showdown against the invading extra-terrestrial prospectors.

It ends up a misplaced jumble of genres, lacking structure and a clear sense of direction with many holes in its storyline. It would have been better as a well-scripted dark satire, or a sharp family comedy. As it stands, it's a rather cliched disappointment.

YP rating: 2/5

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