Sunday, August 26, 2012

Three Reasons This Movie Laid An Egg

This turkey laid an egg

Everybody loved the concept. I mean, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Scott Rudin. You know, everybody.

Everything looked great on paper as well. There were no less than EIGHT A-list writers on the movie, not including the original guy who wrote the comic book that inspired the movie. But it was a huge disappointment and slipped off the charts into cable television soon after theatrical release.

Why happened?

Reason #1: With four credited writers and another four A-list writers working on the project, I suspect the script was being written up to the moment the cameras began to roll.

But it had Harrison Ford!

Reason #2: Harrison Ford is a leading man who mostly plays himself. Daniel Craig, by comparison, is an exceptional character actor, because he’s done that kind of acting for 20-plus years before he was James Bond. The same can be said for Sam Rockwell. These guys can act. In fact, the entire supporting cast were worthy of being cast in a reprise of the Wild Bunch.

Aren't you being a little harsh on the movie?

Reason #3: Maybe comic books don’t need a third act, but movies generally do. C&A didn't have a third act.

Consequently the audience was deprived of seeing how the characters were going to redeem themselves in a sweeping heroic and climactic battle. There is no better than in Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch shootout that established the western for all time.

In Cowboys & Aliens, nobody won the final battle. The audience was deprived of seeing the Apache kick some alien butt.  The Apache never took a scalp or shot the monsters full of flaming arrows. It would have been cathartic. This is what Apache do.

Instead of a final battle, there was Ford delivering some sappy exposition, followed by cheesy special effects to mask the fact that the director had run out of story at the Act II reveal.

But it was a feel-good western ending, right?

If you actually paid to see this, you’d feel cheated and bloated. Daniel Craig left town pretty much the way he arrived. The townspeople returned to their old ways as if nothing had ever happened.

Was there anything good to say about the movie?

The trailer was pretty good.

Is that all?

There won't be a sequel.


  1. I completely agree. The studio must have realized the dissapointing box office numbers and decided to scrap the whole franchise. Which is sad. Apparently the comic book upon which it was based is from a guy out of Coquitlam, B.C.

    1. Yes, it is sad for the guy who wrote the comic book. Not only was his original vision so badly manipulated, but the movie was cynical in its approach to story telling.