I admit it: I went into Cowboys and Aliens without particularly high expectations. So the fact that I enjoyed it so much could, in part, be attributed to the low bar. But seriously, this was some well done fun! I was glad Stoney had given me a heads-up that the movie was based on a graphic novel, since it is one I haven’t read:
It helped me to MUCH more appreciate how beautifully the movie had been rendered in that graphic novel atmosphere, although from the story synopsis, it doesn’t sound a whole lot like the comic. I’ll never know if I would have recognized its origins on my own, but they were so well respected I would like to think I would have. Some scenes, like the initial fight scene, looked like illustrations come to life, right down to the blood spatter on our then-anonymous hero. Daniel Craig takes his character seriously, without making him either cartoonish or overbearing. I almost couldn’t get over Harrison Ford’s gruff-voiced anti-hero: it was good to see him do something different! And the whole western/alien invasion mash-up was a lot of fun in general. I mean, why not an alien invasion in the Old West? The contrast in technology is just that much greater. Admittedly, it was also clear that humans in that time frame wouldn’t have stood a chance without a little hijacking of alien technology for themselves.
I saw this movie with my daughters, ages 17 and 19. As a PG13 rating, I opted not to take my 11-year-old son, and it was a good call. There was just enough language to be a problem, but the graphic violence, believe it or not, would have really bothered him. It’s a bit gory. There is a scene with alien probing of an apparently disemboweled yet live human that even my grown daughters and I flinched from, so I’m a little surprised it wasn’t an R, but I do realize I am an old fogey now, and what was rough in My Day is tame stuff now. But hey, another rant for another day. Bottom line: I had fun with this movie, and would watch it again.