Given all the sequels, remakes, and reboots coming out of Hollywood (not to mention some questionable inspriration—really? A movie based the Hasbro game?) I'm a bit leery of anything coming out of Hollywood these days.
I was even a bit wary of “Cowboys and Aliens even though its not sequel, prequel, remake or reboot (maybe—it is based upon a comic book but reading the storyline in the comic, it seems the movie went its own direction) but after a positive review from a source I trust, Bunny (who originally wanted to see the movie just from viewing the previews) and I went to the movies.
It's an odd movie—it's a solid Western, with Daniel Craig playing an anmesiac thief who stole gold from Harrison Ford, playing a cruel cattle baron, but then it turns into an alien invasion pretty darned quick (and for those of you who saw the trailer—everything in that trailer is in the first half hour of the film). Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford then team up with the remains of the town to hunt down the “demons” (as the aliens are referred to—nice touch) and save the kidnapped townspeople. And then it's a solid alien invasion story, albeit set in the 1870s. It's a film well worth seeing, if just for the solid performances from everybody in the film (although Sam Rockwell's performance reminded me quite a bit of his role in “Galaxy Quest” as the red shirt).
I only have two real quibbles with the film, and if you don't want anything spoiled, stop reading now. You have been warned.
The first quibble is the motiviation of the aliens. Any species that is capable of interstellar travel is not going to land on an inhabited planet just for the gold, especially when the indiginous inhabitants can violently fight back. There are probably other planets (or moons) in the solar system with enough gold and life (if any) that won't fight back, as it were. And even if they are here for the gold, why bother the local inhabitants anyway? Land, mine the gold, leave.
I guess they're just sadistic jerks, these aliens.
The second quibble is how one of the characters, who turns out to be an alien who's homeworld was destroyed by the first set of gold mining aliens, even arrived here. This character came here to fight the first set of aliens, but there's no indication of where its ship is, or how it got here, or anything. This is a smaller quibble than the first, but it's still pretty convenient.
But hey, it's a good film otherwise.