We’ve still three weeks to wait before Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens opens in the UK, but those lucky people at the San Diego Comic-Con were treated to an early viewing of the film over the weekend.
We’ll be bringing our own verdict on the sci-fi western mash-up nearer the time of release, but until then, here’s an overview of the critical consensus so far.
“The alien villains here […] don’t rate as characters. They are more like moving blobs you shoot at in a video game. Nonetheless, as the first of undoubtedly a bunch of copycat genre mashups, some of which are bound to be horrendous, Cowboys & Aliens is a solid success. For a tentpole Comic-Con movie, this one devotes a gratifying amount of time to character and achieves most of its success because Favreau has intelligently cast his film and let his actors do their thing.”
“While Cowboys & Aliens offers little in the way of sociological insight (except perhaps giving the white man a taste of his own resource-stealing medicine), it’s still a ripping good ride.”
“Truly, this was the Weird Western done right. Favreau and his team blended their alien invasion and Western imagery seamlessly, in a way that you may have imagined but probably haven’t seen done well before.”
“The best thing to be said about Cowboys & Aliens is that it looks beautiful. Beyond that though, Cowboys & Aliens is the cinematic equivalent of a flatline. A lifeless film that’s criminally plot driven and filled with surface characters, underdeveloped relationships and plot holes the size of the Wild Wild West.”
“Cowboys is generally entertaining, but it does start to hiccup and feel somewhat long in the tooth by the time it has wrapped a bow around all the loose ends. It functions best as a pure western, but of course that’s only half of what this title promised to deliver.”
Not exactly unanimous praise for Favreau’s stetson sci-fi, then, but not a critical drubbing, either. The impression we get is that, while the characterisation and plot aren’t exactly at the fore, Cowboys & Aliens is nevertheless what we were expecting, a fun, visually lavish summer movie.
Expect our review to appear on Den Of Geek in due course, while the finished movie will be moseying into UK cinemas on the 17th August. It arrives in the US this weekend.
There’s more to see and read about Cowboys & Aliens here.