If aliens ever visit Earth, we should probably hide all the movies, especially those from the last few years. It might be tough to explain in a first contact situation why we have spent decades fantasizing about killing extraterrestrials in new and increasingly spectacular ways. It used to be easy. The Soviet Union—or some form of nefarious communists—were the enemies, and it was the righteous duty of heroic Americans to smite them. But now that communism has diminished and China is sort of our landlord, aliens seem to be the most popular target for Hollywood to throw at our action heroes as cannon fodder.
One of the more unique takes on the alien menace comes in the form of a western from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf). Based on a graphic novel created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, Cowboys & Aliens stars Daniel Craig as a stranger who wakes in the Arizona desert with no memory of who he is, and a strange device locked onto his wrist.
The stranger discovers that he is actually Jake Lonergan, a fugitive wanted by Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), the man that rules the town of Absolution, Arizona. But before Lonergan can face the colonel, the town must face aliens who have taken to abducting locals. The mysterious device on Lonergan’s wrist proves to be an effective weapon, and the humans must put aside their mutual distrust to kick ET butt.
Cowboys & Aliens also stars Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown and Walton Goggins. It debuts in theaters on July 29.