Monday, September 17, 2007

3:10 To Yuma

3:10 To Yuma
2007 -- Rated R
Director: James Mangold
Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda

   It could be that Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Life, Master and Commander: Far Side Of The World) is a good actor. Or it could be that Christian Bale (The Prestige, Batman Begins) is a good actor. Or maybe the story is good or the action is good or... maybe I'm just glad to see a bona fide western in the theater again. Or maybe it's all of the above. Whatever the reason 3:10 To Yuma is a good western movie.
    The original film was based on the Elmore Leonard short story of the same name. With this new treatment, Academy Award winner Crowe takes on the role of outlaw leader Ben Wade and Bale is the hard working rancher Dan Evans (roles played by Glenn Ford and Van Heflin respectively in the original film) who takes on the job of delivering the smooth talking outlaw to the nearest town with a train going to Yuma and the penitentiary located there. Along the way to the train the group battle Apaches, vengeful railroad lawmen and money hungry townspeople all the while each man gaining a degree of respect for the other that must be dealt with at the end of the line.
    One surprising delight in 3:10 To Yuma is the enigmatic performance turned in by relative newcomer Ben Foster as Charlie Prince, Wades myrmidon second in command. Prince, whose only allegiance is his fatally flawed devotion to Wade, is a sociopathic killer and Foster brings the character scarily to life.
    New westerns are few and far between so thankfully 3:10 To Yuma is worth the wait.

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