Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir tees up and takes a big, fat swing at “Cowboys & Aliens,” which is so implausibly named that it ought to work. But it does not. And in a review so funny that it actually made me snarf up my coffee, O’Hehir explains that the action flick is the chicken Caesar salad of film-making
In other words, it’s so tarted up with limp chicken, slivered walnuts, dried cranberries and those ubiquitous bits of crumbled bleu cheese that it doesn’t know what it is anymore.
Here’s the germane bit:
“I’m not going to claim that “Cowboys & Aliens” is badly made (as chicken Caesar salads go). Viewed strictly as an exercise in technique and pop-culture savvy — the only standards we’re encouraged to apply to Hollywood movies — it’s reasonably accomplished. As director Jon Favreau has demonstrated in the “Iron Man” movies, cleverness and indulgence are his strong suits, and cinematographer Matthew Libatique (of “Black Swan,” e.g.) makes sure that the western/sci-fi mashup looks great. Daniel Craig makes a terrific western drifter in the Eastwood mold, with no name and no past, and he doesn’t look, sound or act anything like James Bond. Harrison Ford plays the ruthless cattle baron who runs an empire on the outskirts of town, and Paul Dano is his wussed-out, stringy-haired, overly arrogant son. If it’s 100 percent predictable that Ford’s crusty old coot will ultimately be revealed as a Civil War veteran (from the right side) with a few fragments of nobility still lodged within his soul, and that he’ll eventually break out that one-sided Harrison Ford smile, it’s nonetheless an enjoyable spectacle.”
Read the full review here.