Well, if the goal was to hit mainstream America with this admittedly tough-to-market genre mash-up of western and sci-fi, Universal couldn’t have chosen a more meat-and-potatoes crowd than the “American Idol” audience to show off the film to, and now that trailer has landed online for the rest of us to pick apart.
Directed by Jon Favreau, the film features a star-studded cast including Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, Olivia Wilde, Noah Ringer, Walton Goggins, Keith Carradine and Ana de la Reguera and tells the story of a group of Apache Indians and Western settlers in Arizona who must lay their differences aside when an alien spaceship crash lands in their city.
As Favreau recently promised, the trailer hints at some of the aliens from the film, but doesn’t actually show any of them, though admittedly, there are lots of shots of their dragonfly-like flying vehicles. The trailer puts a lot of focus on the laser-attack fights between amnesiac Craig (who seems to slowly recover his identity in the footage’s more spoilery bits) and the soaring, unseen beasties. There’s also an uneasy alliance between the current James Bond and the always Indiana Jones, a properly grizzled Ford. Thank the stars for some strong screentime for co-star Sam Rockwell, who we do hope isn’t reduced to comic relief, while a good deal of footage is devoted to Wilde, apparently typecast as “the girl” in these big splashy tentpoles. Out of context, she is nude in one scene, just because the trailer editors weren’t sure they covered all demographics yet.
All in all it looks like an entertaining piece of popcorn cinema, and Favreau already proved with “Iron Man” that he’s completely capable of delivering escapist fare that’s not an Uwe Boll film. “Cowboys & Aliens” rides into the sunset on July 29th. Trailer below.