Cowboys & Aliens 2011 ★★

I will admit that I saw this on a plane, so maybe I've marked it half a star lower than I should, but still... There's just no excuse for a movie to be so dumb and pointless. This must have been inspired by the Snakes on a Plane team. Just so dumb.

To summarize: a too-cool-to-be-true cowboy (Daniel "James Bond" Craig, no less!!) wakes up with no memory, and some inexplicable alien weaponry attached to his hand. He's a stranger in a strange land, etc, etc. there are bad guys and really bad guys. The twist comes soon enough. There are some really really bad guys from outer space. They are super warriors and they can't be stopped. They're here for our gold, of all things.

Interestingly, this movie announces its deus ex machina in the opening act. That's not clever. Deus ex machina is a feeble device when used properly. When it's used like this, you might as well just print "don't worry, he'll wake up soon and it will all have been a bad dream" in comic sans after the opening credits.

Suffice it to say that the really really bad guys get nuked by 19th century rednecks, the really bad guy learns a valuable lesson, the bad guys get mowed down in act 2, and the hero wins through because of the power of his magic doofer.

That really is all there is to it. I'm not marking any of this as spoilers because if you haven't guessed it all from the title, then you probably haven't been able to read this far anyway.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Get back to Layer Cake and Casino Royale, Mr Craig. I'm very disappointed in you.

Note also, for a more realistic and engaging western setting, play Red Dead Redemption. Yes, it's a computer game, and it's plot is infinitely superior to this horrible movie. The inevitable computer game based on this movie will probably have a better plot too.

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