While I was in San Francisco doing my 4 city book tour, I visited ILM/Lucas Film Studios on the presidio (I'd love to tell you all about it, but I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement). They had a preview of the new feature “Cowboys and Aliens”. They said I could come see the film along with all the digital artists who created the wonderful special effects for the fantasy film.
First of all, I love the concept – 2 of my favorite genres going head to head. (See my films “Guns on the Clackamas” and “Mutant Aliens”) Also, I love pretty much everything Jon Favreau works on, from “Made” and “Money” to “Iron Man”.
Also, the film is starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and my good buddy Keith Carradine, plus the beautiful new star Olivia Wilde.
But for some reason, the plot never came together. There was no reason tension and no charm. Also, with a film like “Cowboys and Aliens”, you expect a little campy humor, but there were very few laughs.
The disappointment for me was not enough of the Paul Dano character. He plays Harrison Ford's juvenile delinquent son, and he was the most interesting character in the film. Unfortunately he gets sky jacked by the aliens early in the film and doesn't reappear until the end. I would have loved to see him join the posse in search of the aliens.
The special effects and aliens were very scary and quite convincing, but there was nothing really very clever or fresh about the cowboys defeating the aliens. I would have liked to see more suspense and imagination in the ending.
I give “Cowboys and Aliens” a B-.