A bunch of aliens scout the earth to mine gold and find out the easiest way of killing people before heading back to the big ship to tell them how to mine gold and kill people easily for some reason.
Somehow these aliens can survive living on earth.
We can come to the conclusion that they breathe oxygen so it’s likely that they come from a planet that has oxygen and also likely that they came from a planet similar to ours.
Unless there’s a planet quite close to ours that has similar conditions, it would have either taken a really long time for the aliens to get to us, or they have access to very fast travel. If it’s the former, that’s an incredibly stupid risk to take to look for gold and kill people as, by the likely time they would have arrived a number of things could have happened.
Didn’t they see Passengers?!
How are they able to have wonderfully futuristic technology and yet no ability to send data back to wherever it needs to be sent to?
How are they unable to make themselves completely and utterly hidden?
Why don’t they have any form of stealth for when they’re outside of their ship?
Then again, their ship did look a bit old, so maybe that has something to do with what they did and didn’t have.
That aside, the movie was average at best. It had some interesting scenes but the actors don’t seem to know if they were meant to take the film seriously or not (the same can be said with the film itself) and end up giving a performance that could have been better.
There are moments for the characters that are entertaining and work well, but for the most part the film drags whilst also feeling like something has been missed along the way.
Other than my criticism above, the biggest problem was the script as it was a bit too lifeless. poorly-written lines overwrought with clichéd emotional cues come in parts that have a bit too much predictability without much of a wink to the audience. I’m not sure as to how faithfully the people who worked on this film were trying to be to the source material; they certainly did put in effort, but they could have done a better job. I hope that it wasn’t due to company executives that the script came out as it did.
Cowboys and Aliens is a film that could have been much better than it was. I think it’s worth watching at least once as there are some genuinely fun parts. Beyond that is dependent on how much you think those moments are worth sitting through the rest of the film for.