Angry “Cowboys’ Fight Greedy ‘Aliens’ in a Fun but Forgettable Movie
by Nicholas Robinson
A stranger (Daniel Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents-townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors-all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival. – IMDB.com
I want to start this review off with a simple statement. This is an action movie. A pretty decent action movie, but nothing more than that. It has some emotional moments, but nothing to really write home about. Jon Favreau has now been imprinted in my brain as a man who directs action movies. Some have been really good (i.e. Iron Man) and others have been better than average (Iron Man 2 and Zathura). He continues the trend with yet another comic book (graphic novel technically) adaptation which contains pretty decent action and a story that basically moves itself.
Now I haven’t read the graphic novel and if the story is just as average as the one in the movie then I actually don’t want to. Now, if some of you have read the graphic novel and know that it is actually a very good story then please tell me so I can blame the writers and not the movie. I mean there are a couple of plot holes that I don’t want to get into so that you can walk in fresh but there is one thing that happened that I really can’t quite wrap my head about. At one point in the movie, Harrison Ford tells a child (who is on very high ground) to wave his arms when he sees something. Now when the something actually comes, the child doesn’t only wave his arms but he proceeds to shout it to Harrison Ford. However, the shouting isn’t quite nearly as loud to reach Harrison Ford where he is but not only can he hear the boy but he can hear every word as if the boy was next to him which is even more of a feat as Ford is 69 years old. Now how is that even possible?
The acting in this movie is what it needed to be. Daniel Craig was mostly unemotional, Harrison Ford was a grumpy, racist old man and Olivia Wilde was a female from the Old West. Nothing special about it. However, I uttered a little chuckle to myself when I recognized Clancy Brown (the preacher from Carnivale) playing the local preacher and Keith Carradine (Special Agent Lundy from Dexter) as the Sheriff. Apart from that, nothing jumped at me.
The high point of this movie however, was the action and visuals. Now these were brilliant, and I mean brilliant. The action was very much like most westerns (except for the fact that it was against aliens) and didn’t deviate from the fact that the movie was a western which I liked very much. The visuals were as I said brilliant. The aliens, their ships and mechanics, their weapons and the explosions were all done very well as expected and were what really kept me interested for the movie’s 2 hour runtime.
Overall, this movie was a fun watch, but not one that I will revisit anytime soon.
IMDB says 6.8/10
RT says 44%
I say 7/10