An outlandish mash-up of Western and sci-fi genres, Cowboys & Aliens does exactly what it says on the tin – pitches cowboys against aliens for the weirdest frontier showdown you’ve ever seen.
Iron Man director Jon Favreau’s film starts off fairly conventionally, with Daniel Craig’s rugged gunslinger wandering out of the New Mexico desert and clashing with Harrison Ford’s ruthless cattle baron and his no-good son. But something very odd is going on. Craig has no memory of who he is or why he’s wearing a weird bracelet-cum-shackle on one of his wrists.
Olivia Wilde’s improbably gorgeous stranger looks as though she might be able to supply some answers, but all bets are off when a bunch of invading space aliens come swooping out of the sky and start abducting the local townsfolk. Soon enough, former foes must join forces, alongside outlaws and Indians, and somehow fight back.
The idea of Cowboys & Aliens is so wild that it’s a shame the film doesn’t make more of it. Once you’ve got your head round the set-up, the inter-species shoot-outs get rather predictable. Then again, given that the story has been inspired by the cover art of a graphic novel rather than its contents, it’s unsurprising that the plot doesn’t really hang together. Still, Craig certainly looks the part and you’ll probably still have a blast watching cinema’s James Bond and Indiana Jones strapping on six-shooters to take on hordes of ornery varmints from outer space.
On general release from 17th August.