Okay, it doesn’t fail exactly. But Cowboys and Aliens doesn’t really live up to what I imagined. It’s got the zillionth “I’m an amnesiac, and I’m learning I wasn’t a really nice guy” story I’ve seen. It’s got lots of super good looking people in the old west. It’s got a not particularly interesting alien design. (Falling Skies is even better.) It’s got a cute kid. And a dog.
What it doesn’t really have is much for me to get excited about. The attack sequence in the town goes exactly like the trailer (which I’ve seen a hundred times) told me it would. The manufactured tension between Jake (Craig) and Dolarhyde (Ford) dissipates about as fast as you’d expect it would have to. The eerie knowingness of Wilde’s character plays out in a mildly annoying way.
The performances were all good, and the dialogue itself was fine, but the story was a little pedestrian, the conflicts obvious, and the hummingbird just kind of bugged me.