It’s surprising that a film with such a literal title required six writers, especially when you consider the fact that the original premise is based on a comic book. Even more surprising is how boring the end result is, despite the presence of a capable director (Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame) and a great, oddball cast (Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown, Paul Dano, Toby Huss). Daniel Craig is fun as an amnesiac cowboy with an alien sharpshooter, but Harrison Ford is hardly noticeable as whatever grumpy character he’s portraying. While the simplistic plot is classically charming, a group of smudge-faced cowboys trot through the wild west to rescue their abducted friends from an alien abduction, the action scenes are dull as is the cinematography, which occasionally switches to a saturated, Hipstamatic-like color palette for inexplicable reasons. This should have been over-the-top fun, but the biggest risk this conventional bore of a film takes is the title itself.
Cowboys & Aliens opens wide in Philly-area theaters today.