This summer offers quite an exciting range of movies and one that I’m very eager to see is Cowboys & Aliens. It has so much potential that I can’t help myself becoming excited. Directed by Jon Favreau, the guy behind Iron Man, and starring the partnership of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, the stars alone make it worthwhile viewing. It is however the concept that has me most excited.
I’m not normally a fan of Westerns, as they seem a bit too traditional and simple. The idea of Americans fighting off the indigenous population so they can have large plains for their cattle seemed a bit elitist. It’s closer to survival of the fittest than the good man about town that beats the bad guys, which they seemed to be trying to say. What this film does is essentially reverse that situation, by making the cowboys the natives. From the trailer, you can see that the traditional slow confrontational style of Westerns is still there, but the concept is so ludicrous that it just shouldn’t work. Yet it does, because the idea of being invaded is so central to the American story.
It has a deep concept, a director who is an expert in fun action movies, actors that do grizzled in their sleep, Bond Vs Indy and a massive budget. How can they make me wait? So, impatient, I’m going to share with you my thoughts for what this holds in store.
——BEWARE, HERE BE POTENTIAL SPOILERS——-
The trailer starts with Daniel Craig’s Jake Lonergan waking up with a start before being surrounded by bandits. He can clearly handle himself and it’s no surprise when we later learn that he’s a wanted man. His past seems to be one of the main mysteries, with the woman in the bar (almost certainly a future love interest and an old flame) and his unusual wrist attire being completely unknown to him. I would imagine his quest to form a new name for himself and to discover the old one will be a large part of this story. His response to the demons line suggests he’ll have to deal with his former sins, but won’t really want to. It’s most likely that he’ll become the reluctant hero of the film.
Harrison Ford’s sheriff seems to be the most unenthusiastic of the bunch though. Although Jake doesn’t remember a thing, the sheriff knows him and holds a grudge. I imagine that he will have to form an undesirable allegiance with Jake because of the weapon he possesses. My bet however is that this will only happen after their town has been destroyed and all his earthly ties are lost. I think his arc will consist primarily of revenge and dealing with anger, though it will also concern his forgiveness of Jake.
The shot of the cavalry suggests to me that this will turn into a road movie, all be it a period one. I would not be surprised if Native Americans became allies as the survivors from the first attack on the principal town will try to mount an earthly defense. I can’t yet see how they’ll finish it, with a series continuation or just an unexplained departure, but I look forward to finding out. The journey seems like a lot of fun.