Can you guess what this movie is about? I couldn’t, not with precision. I was expecting something whimsical and set in contemporary times. Instead, we are transported to 19th century New Mexico, with bad-ass cowboys, really bad-ass aliens (think, Sigourney Weaver aliens), noble Apaches, and a beautiful pistol packing mama who is – lets just say, not from around these parts.
We open with Daniel Craig as a western badman, who brings the same cold-eyed killer vibe to this role as he does to his other life as James Bond. True, his circumstances are a little bit odd – his memory is gone, he wears a strange bracelet, and his wound looks suspiciously like he’s been probed. But after a lot of opening violence, and with Keith Carradine as marshal, Harrison Ford as the cattle baron, and several appealing secondary characters – the preacher, the kid, and the barkeep – I found my belief pretty well suspended by the time the saucers flew into town to harvest the good citizens.
We get romance, redemption, coming of age, and finding one’s courage, but more than anything else, this is a good old fashioned shoot-em-up, with some nail-biting moments, and bad guys you can hate with abandon; they are despicable, disgusting, and slimy.
If you want to be stodgy and boring, you could ask why these creatures with intergalactic technology want gold so badly, but when you get right down to it, although they are big and tough, they are not the sharpest tools in the cosmic shed. This is a job for good old American know-how and grit, and a wee bit of help from “beyond the stars.”
Leave the stodgy questions at home, and you’ll have a very good time.