Cowboys & Aliens

August 16, 2011 - The cowboys are Democrats, the Indians are Republicans, the hostages are the economy and the aliens are greedy and evil. That's one way you could interpret this 2011 action flick from director Jon Favreau. On the other hand, you're probably better off just viewing it as a souped-up Western because there's no way that Democrats and Republicans will work together to save the economy, right?

As the movie opens, a cowboy (Daniel Craig) comes to in the wilderness. He finds he's missing a few articles of clothing but he has a pretty cool chunk of metal on his wrist. He eventually moseys into the nearest town where he quickly runs afoul of the sheriff (Keith Carradine) and the local cattle baron (Harrison Ford). It doesn't help that even though he says he doesn't remember who he is, everyone else knows he's a thieving, robbing outlaw named Jake.

Anyway, just as Jake is about to be hauled off by the federal marshals, aliens attack. They kill some folks and snatch up others, including the sheriff and Harrison Ford's son. Along about this time, Jake finally realizes that the thing on his wrist tells him when aliens are near. He also finds that it is pretty useful for killing them. With this bit of handy knowledge, Jake, Harrison Ford and a mysterious woman named Ella (Olivia Wilde) set out with a common goal: to rescue their fellow townsfolk from the clutches of the aliens.

Overall review: *** I don't really believe that this movie is intended as a metaphor for "can't we all just get along?" But, it does have lots of action and the overall message is that good things happen when people work together – even if tough sacrifices have to be made along the way.