If this synopsis from Joblo is to be believed, the upcoming movie adaptation of Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s comic book “Cowboys and Aliens” by Jon Favreau will have almost nothing in common with the comic book except for the basic premise: aliens invade the American Wild West. And you know what? That’s the best news I’ve heard yet about the movie. The comic book, aside from its starting premise, is, how shall I say it, pretty dumb. Yes, even for a comic book about alien space invaders, the comic was just plain goofy.
Here’s the rundown:
1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear.
But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.
Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.
Glad to see Ford’s character is a pretty hefty one, though it should be noted that just 10 years ago he would be playing the Daniel Craig character. Ah, aging in Hollywood. One day you’re punching terrorists and demanding they get off your plane, and the next you’re playing surly Colonels name Dolarhyde.
Though I gotta admit, I think Olivia Wilde’s (below) character was a lot more interesting in the book. In the movie she’s apparently just an “elusive traveler”, and not the hellraising Calamity Jane-type. Then again, the character actually roped an alien riding some kind of flying speed bike in the comics, so maybe it’s for the best that they took away her lasso for the movie.