Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cowboys and Aliens

I saw Cowboys and Aliens a few days ago and I'm sad to say it was a whole lot of meh. It could have been so awesome, but there wasn't anything really new there.

The people adapted much too quickly when aliens suddenly appeared. I mean, there's this spaceship crashed right in the middle of their town and no-one really investigates it? They come across an upside-down paddle steamer in the middle of nowhere and basically all the comment it gets is: "wow, that's far from where it's supposed to be. But it's raining, so let's use it as shelter." They don't interact with any alien technology at all, even the wristweapon worn by Jake Lonergan, Daniel Craig's character, pretty much functions on its own. They never really wonder about anything, there's no sense that they are truly seeing something impossible. There's one nice moment after Jake has jumped on one of the alien ships to save Ella. They bring the machine crashing down into a lake and when they have made it to the shore, Jake takes a deep breath and says with a tone of wonder in his voice: "We were flying." I loved that.

I mean, I didn't expect a deep story. It obviously wasn't that kind of movie. But something - anything would have been nice apart from a lot of tropes and things we've seen before (and better). Kudos to the director for not shooting in 3D, though.

One scene stood out to me, but not because it was meant to be. The aliens are very tough and guns are not all that much use against them - until Harrison Ford kills one with a well-aimed shot. After that, the humans really kick ass and ever the spears of the Indians turn into very deadly weapons. It's like the group of adventurers got a ton of XP for that one kill and everybody levelled up right in the middle of the fight. As a gamer, that was enough to make me giggle my way through the rest of the battle.

On the whole, I'd rather play a game of Deadlands myself.

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