A stranger stumbles into the desert town of Absolution with no memory of his past and a futuristic shackle around his wrist. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella and the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde, he finds himself leading an unlikely posse of cowboys, outlaws, and Apache warriors against a common enemy from beyond this world in an epic showdown for survival.
09 Feb Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
I’ll let others talk about the nature of the disaster here.
There are so many disintegrated narrative chunks in this stew that you are forced to grab onto one. The one that fascinates me is what ‘the girl‘ is all about.
In the sort of generic western they quote here, she would be the home, contrasted to the call of the wild. The safety. Rarely in a western is the girl a prop to carry through dangers while she is threatened and screams. Heroes and fatherstuff are roughly the same in both westerns and alien scifi, so the fulcrum around which the merger is balanced is ‘the girl.‘
While the male leads are box office heavyweights, for some reason they chose a B or C list girl. This is someone not particularly appealing to the camera. In this era, she‘s someone who actually changed their name in the pattern of a porn actress! Maybe that was all they could get for the confused role.
She is from another planet, we are told, the last survivor after the bad aliens took all the gold. For some reason after taking the gold, they went to the effort of killing everyone save her. (That aliens would come to Earth in search of concentrated heavy elements is entirely believable. The stuff the Earth is made of is vastly older than the Sun. And the concentration as a planet appears to be vastly more rare than stars.)
Anyway, she gets here by means that are lost, and adapts the human form, also by magic that does not factor into the story. Thereafter, she is profoundly ineffectual, given the powers she must have. Think about how much more interesting this film would have been if it followed the women rather than the men. If Pedro Almodovar could have dealt with her frustrations at having to rely on these oafs to save the world.
Her situation does have some dull issues, like the ‘I‘m in a female body so can’t help kissing Steve McQueen here‘ syndrome. Calling Jane Campion!
I’d like to recommend here one of the essential films from my must see list: Phantom Empire.
Posted in 2012
Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.