Jon Favreau gives good trailer. Look no further than the first "Iron Man" footage, which in the span of two minutes managed to transform a C-list Marvel Comics superhero into the star of one of the most anticipated movies of 2008.
The director once again finds himself with a lesser-known comic book property in "Cowboys & Aliens," and he once again delivers one heck of a trailer. Here are our picks for the five coolest moments:
Daniel Craig's Cuff
Craig's Jake Lonergan wakes up in the late-19th-century Wild West looking seriously confused and sporting an anachronistic metallic cuff on his wrist. How'd he get it? What is its function? We soon learn that it's some sort of high-tech weapon that can take out some nasty alien invaders.
Humans vs. Aliens
Make no mistake: Craig's cuff isn't some cheese-tastic weapon out of Will Smith's "Wild Wild West." The tone of "Cowboys & Aliens" is dark, humanity-in-peril stuff. The trailer delivers an awesome WTF moment when the cuff comes to life and unleashes some sort of pulse that takes out an alien craft. Kudos to Favreau for giving us a quick glimpse of that alien ship — small, winged, glowing with lights — and the sort of explosion-heavy battle that will be the lifeblood of this movie.
Humans vs. Humans
At least to begin, though, "Cowboys & Aliens" isn't just about frontiersmen fighting extraterrestrials. The trailer's first moments show us Craig in far more brutal form than in his James Bond flicks. He's got no problem attacking people, blowing them away with a shotgun, and then stealing one of their hats, just 'cause he'll look cool in it. Coldblooded! Note to aliens: You might not want to mess with this dude.
Harrison Ford Goes Bad
Even if this trailer doesn't erase the memory of "Morning Glory," it certainly gives us a taste of a Harrison Ford we haven't seen in far too long. Here, he's grizzled and nasty, and we dig it. "I want that man," he spits. "You give him to me now, or I'm gonna take him."
Olivia Wilde Remembers
Perhaps the most compelling bit of plot exposition in the film — aside from, of course, the arrival of those alien crafts — is a moment when Olivia Wilde saunters into a saloon to chat with Craig. "Do I know you?" he asks. "You don't remember anything?" she responds. No, he does not. Apparently, he's a wanted man with a $1,000 bounty on his head for being a "scourge à the territories." So what happened? Why doesn't he remember anything? And how is all of this connected to that mysterious cuff? The trailer hints at all of this during Wilde and Craig's conversation, delivering no solid answers but getting us seriously excited about the film's July 29, 2011, release date.
Check out everything we've got on "Cowboys & Aliens."