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As Bad As its Title

  • Ankur Pathak

    Ankur Pathak (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - March 17, 2013 4:54 PM IST
    3.0DM (410 ratings)
    Cowboys & AliensWatch trailerRelease date : July 29, 2011

    Ok, we would try to pardon the incredibly gibberish title. But hello, only when the content promises to live up to it, and not suffer from an annoying split-personality, narrative imbalance, and.. oh you guessed it Amnesia.

    So an enviably well-muscled Daniel Craig wakes up in the middle of nowhere battered and bashed-up. Seemingly, he is in a state of Main kaun hu.. main kahan hu. And trust me, it is not because of Craigs exceptionally unerring expressions that we figure he has no memory, but because of the boringly predictable fashion in which this sleep-inducing sci-fi Western unfolds.

    He has got a weirdly sophisticated bracelet attached to his wrist, which he unsuccessfully tries to kill by a stone. (I wouldnt, it is so bloody cool). Then he arrives at a village which is called Absolution. And then caricatures of stereotypes jump into the picture as quickly as they are jerked-off by ugly-looking aliens. There is the restrained saloon-warden (a lethargic Sam Rockwell) whos always referred as Doc. There is the struggling-to-abide-law Sherriff (Keith Carradine), there is the cowardly bratty son of the landlord Percy, and then the vicious/not-so-vicious landlord himself - Harrison Fords Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde.

    When Daniel Craigs almost thrown in jail for being a wanted outlaw, a mass of ships randomly cover the sky of Absolution, and with no immediately detectable intention flip humans into them and wander away to their secret hideout. Sensing trouble, not Craig but the weird metallic thing on his wrist goes on auto-pilot and BAM! With one angry emission, it brings the whole of the flying-vessel crashing down.

    Later on, everybodys united as they have a common threat that could probably exhaust them out with immense ease. So one-time enemies become pallies and allies, collect all possible ammunitions and set-off to bash up the unwelcomed visitors.

    Something missing there folks? Sure then, there is the eye-candy prop posing as a concerned aide, who knows a little too much.

    Coming to the personality conflict, Cowboys and Aliens doesnt realize where its actual loyalty truly belongs. An ambitious amalgamation on paper, this sci-fiction actioner within a Western landscape never reaches the unique position it hoped for. One, there is not a novelty element, as once the aliens debut, all the mystery is instantly defused. Moreover the CGI used is clearly mediocre. Add to its woes, the characters are confused and detached to the events. They have this aura of carelessness which at times made me feel that the already sleepy, boring town of Absolution should rather go for a total revamp or face plain extinction.

    Any way I couldnt care less.

    The penultimate twist of Aliens hunting gold is preposterous by every stretch of distinctive imagination. I mean, theres this entire world, and you come down, in your devastatingly powerful demeanor, for the lust of the yellow metal? Oh Cmon, zoom off for a rather robust intent.

    About the humans in the film, the increasingly unreliable Harrison Ford is a baffled dim-wit switching sides first, and then confronting his decisions. It almost looks as if he improvised impromptu. Daniel Craig is restrained and restless, and one-entire back story goes on explaining his mysterious past. His performance is just about average. Being undemonstrative is a fine trait to add, but being steely is just an annoying persona.

    Jon Favreau who also directed the brilliant Iron Man, fluctuates with his narrative and never seems to settle down. It seems he asked for a better, spectacular climax which could never reach the desired results. Blasting off aliens is visually arousing, stabbing them and priding about it simply makes you cringe.

    Mediocre performances to go with bland lines, average CGI-effects to go with unstable direction, there is nothing worthy in Cowboys and Aliens for it to be seen. Stay Away.

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