Don't get us wrong, the trailer for Cowboys vs. Aliens leads us to believe that it's going to be a sweet little action flick that will be more than worth the price of admission. We're not going to get on some high horse and ride it around the premise that there is anything wrong with a big budget battle between those things from Independence Day and John Wayne.
No, what today's rant entails is that name. Cowboys vs. Aliens. Really? That's the best you could do? They didn't call Cloverfield something like Giant Pissed Off Smashy Thing vs. New York City, did they? You can't just name a movie after the basic stock archetypes in it.
Sure, there's Freddy vs. Jason and Aliens vs. Predator. Those are named franchises being brought together and versusifying is the only way to give all the participants top billing without angering fans or the franchises creators by slighting one. Hell, when Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, their screen time was made to be exactly the same down to the second and the damned movie wasn't even about them.
But you know what? Fine, we'll play along. If movie making is going to be reduced to shouting out action figures like we're all 12 years old, then we'd like to suggest...
We can assume that zombies need no explanation. They've gone more mainstream than Gaga at this point, and yes, we're going to be that annoying hipster. When the CDC starts playing along on the zombie trail, it is time to switch allegiance to mummies or a werelochnessmonster or something.
On the other side, we have clumsy single dads. Being a father who enjoys going out with just us and the kid, you can see how this stereotype has warped the world's perception of fatherhood. Movie dads put on diapers with duck tape, they shoot monsters in the closet, they are absolutely clueless when a baby starts crying and it's only through singing a popular classic rock song as a lullaby that they can just barely get by in a role that clearly nature didn't design them for.
In our movie, Ben Stiller is forced to care for his sassy young daughter and believably computer savvy son in a neighborhood where zombies have become a constant nuisance. They knock over garbage cans, they keep up the kids at night, they ate Stiller's wife as she lay helpless screaming for mercy. Luckily, the kids use their cunning to set clever traps and rid the neighborhood of pesky ghouls, all while learning what it means to be a family.