Cowboys and Aliens VS. Captain America

Okay, yes, yes, these are two completely different films. I agree. But I saw both of them this weekend and liked one a lot more than the other. Can you guess which one?

It was Captain America.

The ways in which these films differ:

One is about aliens and Cowboys and Indians (oh my!). The other is about a superhuman hero fighting a Nazi science division called Hydra. Two different genres, cinematography, stories, etc. Obvious.

The ways in which they are the same:

They’re gimmicks. A movie called “Cowboys and Aliens”? Come on. They’re just dying to find ways to capitalize on popular genres in order to bring people into the box office. Why give it a more interesting name when “Cowboys and Aliens” gets the job done?

Captain America is part of the Avengers thing that’s happening, which has been a really good choice on the part of some dude who’s making a ton of money off of the franchise. It’s about the little guy becoming the big guy (literally) and saving the world. What about that has not been done?

Here is why Captain America is better than Cowboys and Aliens:

Captain America is campy. Intentionally campy, goofy, even the cinematography is reminiscent of camera work in the era it is portraying. It’s Indiana Jones meets the Rocketeer. Chris Evans’ character goes through a life changing transformation in a machine that literally changes his genetic makeup so that he’s taller, faster, stronger, etc. And the first words out of his mouth when someone asks him how he feels? “I feel….taller.” Pure campy gold.

Cowboys and Aliens should be campy, but it isn’t. Its name makes you think it will be, and there are parts of the film where you think it might be heading that direction. But it never quite gets there. It takes itself so seriously. A film called “Cowboys and Aliens” needs to have a lighter attitude. But the first thing Daniel Craig’s character, Jake, does when he wakes up in the beginning of the film is kill people.

And don’t even get me started on what a waste Olivia Wilde’s character was. Why is it that the only woman in the film pulls the short straw and gets the brush off by Jake throughout, and only expositional dialogue? How is there room for a romance when she isn’t a real person? Even Jake doesn’t seem to think so. I won’t ruin it for you, but at some point, her character just gets a little too weird for my taste – they lose the nice simplicity of the plot. Suspending disbelief becomes harder when I don’t even realize I’m rolling my eyes.

So what did you think? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Did I completely ruin the movies for you? Sorry about that….

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Comments
2 Responses to “Cowboys and Aliens VS. Captain America”
  1. Melanie says:

    Thanks for the head’s up. I haven’t seen both yet, but will prolly go see Captain America over Cowboys and Aliens – that will have to wait for DVD.

    • Yeah, I mean, there have been a lot of people who really *like* Cowboys and Aliens – so it’s just up to you which reviews you take to heart : ) It’s not that it isn’t a fun movie, but I felt like I spent my money better with Captain America.

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