Deadline Comic-Con film correspondent Luke Y Thompson files:
At the COWBOYS AND ALIENS premiere on Saturday night. Adam Beach won himself a fan for life when he showed up without a plus-one and gave away his extra ticket to a fan who had been sitting in the bleachers since 1 PM. Inside a refitted opera theater, director Jon Favreau came out to a standing ovation, brought all the cast and producers onstage, and made them take a bow to the folks who pay for the tickets. He compared the movie to that one last present you open on Christmas day that’s still a bit of a mystery, and let the fans know they could be honest with their feedback.
This was an important event: all the Universal bigwigs were there, including Adam Fogelson and Ron Meyer. Once the movie started, the fans were vocal when they wanted to be. Mainly any time an act of violence happened. Daniel Craig punching a guy till blood flies, for example, or an alien throwing Olivia Wilde into the air. Craig’s cool wrist-laser device was also well-liked. But the movie is most effective when Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are onscreen together. Craig plays a good guy with a bad past, while Ford is kind of a bad guy (mostly because he lets his twitchy, psycho son played by Paul Dano do whatever he likes) who actually has a heart. They meet in the middle, metaphorically; but any scene of them staring each other down or hitting each other’s faces was well-received. As was almost any moment of Ford yelling, which he does a lot (and his Southern accent disappears when that happens). Nonetheless, this is Ford’s best work in a long time.
Fans were also quiet for long stretches, though. Unfortunately, this isn’t a Ford-Craig mismatched buddy movie – Craig ends up teaming mostly with Olivia Wilde (whose character arc is ludicrous, but to say more would be spoiling), while Ford hangs out with way too many supporting characters nobody cared about, despite the sentimental score’s attempt to make you feel something.
Massive cheers at the end, though. Whatever the faults, the highlights seem to outweigh any misgivings in the fans’ minds.
And while Favreau talked a good game about fans and filmmakers interacting, the talent departed quickly afterward, while fans enjoyed hot dogs, quesadillas, free beer and wine under a giant alien drone replica. (Andy Serkis, who isn’t in the movie, did hang out for a while).