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Review: Cowboys and Aliens

Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens tells us the story of a 'wild west' village in Arizona attacked by several alien spaceships. During the attack several of the village residents are kidnapped by these aliens, with the rest of the town left to form a posse to bring them back. Simple! We see Daniel Craig in the lead as a previously abducted, amnesiac cowboy as well as Harrison Ford, as the head honcho businessman of the town.

As the title suggests, you really shouldn't take a film like this too seriously; it's far easier suspend your disbelief and try and enjoy Cowboys & Aliens. The western elements of the film are done surprisingly well and it could have easily been translated into a nice standalone western (of course, you'd have to switch the aliens for Indians or outlaws).  The characters all feel like those that you'd traditionally see in a western from Daniel Craig's brooding outlaw to Harrison Ford's iron-fisted businessman. However, it's the combination of the western elements and the sci-fi that really make the concept stand out. Despite, the alien attack plot-line feeling slightly cliched, the combination with the Old West setting makes it feel like quite a refreshed and entertaining. There's also solid direction for Jon Favreau who certainly knows how do an action film, it's also clear he's got a lot of respect for the western genre.

There's great performances all round: those missing seeing Daniel Craig as James Bond will be happy as we get to see him in an action-based role again. Although he does seem to be having trouble with the American accent, it appears as though he's doing an impression of Harrison Ford throughout. Of course, that's not a huge issue - he delivers in the action scenes and looks hot in a cowboy outfit. There's also Harrison Ford who is on excellent grumbling form and it's nice to see him back in action/adventure genre. Olivia Wilde isn't strictly integral to the story, and seems like she's there purely because she's Olivia Wilde - however, even if she just stands there looking pretty it's still nice to see her. There's also roles for the underused Keith Carradine as the town's Sheriff and an annoying appearance from Sam Rockwell. As is traditional with Harrison Ford films, he's searching for a member of his family and this time it's his arsehole son played by Paul Dano. For more information on Harrison Ford searching for his family, look no further.

Obviously, it's not landmark sci-fi or a groundbreaking western - it's a fun B-movie-inspired action picture that takes fun elements of both genres, alongside some strong performances, which makes for a very entertaining two hours.

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