Q: What do you get when you mix six-shooters, a grizzled Harrison Ford, and the O.K. Corral with flying saucers, neon laser beams, and an amnesiac Daniel Craig?
A: “Cowboys and Aliens.”
The film, which opens this weekend, is about… cowboys. And aliens. Fighting. And, according to critics, that’s pretty much all there is to it.
“You want cowboys and aliens in the same movie?” Keith Phipps of the AV Club asks. “This one’s for you. If you want anything beyond what the title promises, look elsewhere.” And many reviewers, including ReelViews’ James Berardinelli, find fault even there: “Cowboys & Aliens is a mashup of a mediocre Western and a mediocre science fiction story,” he writes – a sentiment echoed by Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, who chimes in, “The movie never makes much of a case for its own existence; it’s a mediocre western clumsily welded to a mediocre alien shoot-‘em-up.”
That’s four votes for “mediocre,” if you’re keeping track.
However, some critics say, the failings of the hybrid genre are irrelevant. Brian Orndorf calls the film “an entertaining slice of summer escapism” and Chris Bumbray adds that it’s a “fun-filled summer blockbuster.”
That’s two votes for summer fun. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
“Cowboys and Aliens” opens this weekend in wide release. Who do you think will be the victor?
Also out this weekend:
» “The Smurfs”: Currently garnering an impressive zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the gang of pocket-sized, blue cartoons isn’t receiving a warm welcome from critics. MSN Movies’ Glenn Kenny sums it up with his review: “…the adults who take [the kids] to see the movie won’t feel too good about themselves, or their existences, or the state of life on the planet, as the lights go up.” That’s smurfing harsh. Opening in wide release.
» “Crazy, Stupid Love”: A “sharply funny and touching” film that’s “layered with impressive performances and a generous heart.” Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone, the romantic comedy is “the perfect combination of sexy, cute, wise, hilarious, and true.” Opening in wide release.