By Gabriel Stoffa
Ames247 Staff Writer
The title alone makes for sneers and jeers from many prospective audience members, and I can say I was certainly making fun of the premise for this film right alongside them. The difference is, I was looking forward to a “bad” movie.
I am a fan of many campy films, and sci-fi camp holds a fair number of spots in the top ranks. One of my favorites is “Starship Troopers.” So naturally, I had fairly high hopes for bad puns and comedy scenes intermingled with lasers and six-guns as I sat down to view “Cowboys and Aliens.”
There were some really silly battles between the low- and high-tech sides, as when the aliens are being defeated by bows and arrows and the like. But it wasn’t all that funny. I was disappointed that the bad jokes weren’t more prevalent.
As to the plot, it was wonderfully silly. The aliens are stealing gold. Yep, that’s right — gold. Like many “evil” alien races, they are willing to eradicate the human race in order to get what they want. The execution of the aliens’ nefarious plan involves ineptitude and brute force tactics, two main prescriptions for campy films.
The characters themselves embody cookie-cutter roles and flow well into the overall campiness. Daniel Craig‘s role as the villainous outlaw turned love-struck do-gooder is so ridiculous you cannot help but dig it. And Craig reached new heights of looking stunning onscreen. In his turns as James Bond, he was lauded for his buff body. For this flick, Craig toned up even more — with a sinewy Bruce Lee build — erasing a fair bit of his bulk in what will likely spur a slew of fresh weight-loss and diet routines to further confuse overweight Americans.
Beyond the obvious flaws of “Cowboys and Aliens” being a totally campy film, it is fun. The downside is that there is too much action. As mentioned before, more laughs would have helped. The lack of nudity, the excessively gory scenes and the crude language really made the movie less than the marvelous campfest it could have been. Instead, you get an action movie with a bad story that fills time comfortably.
Would I recommend watching this movie? Sure. Would I recommend going to theaters to see it? No. Wait to stream it or rent it or whatever, because all in all, “Cowboys and Aliens” isn’t worth more than a couple dollars investment for the entertainment it provides.