23 September 2011

Cowboys vs Aliens

My big screen cinema options have been dramatically reduced, and I am learning new things about my self as a result. It turns out that I will no longer go see anything. I will not go see some movie where Kate Hudson plays a woman who finds love as she's dying of cancer, even if Gael Garcia Bernal is in it. No. I will also not see Sarah Jessica Parker in, well, pretty much anything really, but definitely not in some movie where she plays a woman who "can't have it all". I just can't do it. I'd rather stay home and stare at the wall. Nonetheless, I can reliably be counted on to spend 13TL on pretty much any action movie. Hell, I was excited for it. What seemed not worth my time and money in Chicago can appear a lot more exciting when you're new in town, have only a few friends, and don't know the language.

Cowboys vs Aliens did not disappoint. It was actually exactly what I thought it'd be. A plot that clung to whatever scraps of sense it could muster, some melodramatic sentimental treacle, some nasty nasty aliens, and of course, lots of punching and splosions. I noticed, during the opening credits, that there were like ten screenwriters involved in the creation of this masterpiece. I think they may have been slightly at odds with each other. Because the movie is an odd collage of Hollywood tropes, and it only takes about half of them seriously. The script is supremely functional - every character has a purpose. Daniel Craig, of course, is the (anti)hero. He will be badass. He will also be somewhat mysterious because of his amnesia, the main function of which is to move the plot forward via his gradually remembering things. He will also shoulder the burden of romance, but only so that there can be one make-out scene and lots of brooding. Harrison Ford, aka angry cowboy grampa, will be the gruff man who turns out to be a good guy. He will also enact the drama of the broken family that is mended over the course of the film, and that of the greedy rich guy who becomes a benevolent industrious capitalist. Sam Rockwell is there to love his wife and provide comic effect. Etc. The music, too, was ungodly rote and simplistic. I think whoever wrote it hates his/her job.

Sam Rockwell's comic effect is where the movie shines, because it's where it actually plays with Western tropes rather than simply emulating them. Basically, it's where the movie allows itself to have fun. Because Daniel Craig is no fun at all, and Harrison Ford has grown too curmudgeonly to have fun either.

The other big plus of the film are the aliens, who are really, really gross.

Overall, I can't really recommend the movie. I was reasonably entertained, yes. But I'm pretty easy to entertain at the moment. Honestly, this could have been a much better made film if it could just lighten up a little and not take itself so seriously.

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