Movie Review: 3:10 to Yuma – Starring Russell Crowe & Christian Bale

Watch 3:10 to Yuma via Amazon Instant VideoMovie: 3:10 to Yuma (R)
Released: September 7th, 2007
Runtime: 1 hr. 57 min.
Ticket Price: $7.50 Matinee
Refreshments: Hot Dog, Milk Duds & Starburst
Starring: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol & Ben Foster
Director: James Mangold

Rating: Worth a Matinee –

Synopsis: An outlaw has been terrorizing Arizona in the 1800s, with a focus on the Southern Railroad, gets captured. He is set to stand trial and has to be taken to Yuma. A down on his luck rancher volunteers to be one of the men to escort him there, for enough money to help save his ranch. Along the way, mind games are played between the two men and the outlaw’s men are out to track him down and rescue him.

Review: 3:10 to Yuma is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name that starred Glenn Ford as outlaw Ben Wade and Van Heflin as rancher Dan Evans. Russell Crowe (Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind) and Christian Bale (Batman Begins, Equilibrium) now inhabit these roles, respectively. Both this version and the original are based on the Elmore Leonard short story.

Russell Crowe makes as good a bad guy as he does a good guy. He is very good as the well-read, smart, artistic and charismatic outlaw. His men follow him or pay dearly for it. Oh! And, don’t say a cross word about his mother either.

Christian Bale is also very good as the former military man now rancher who volunteers to escort Wade to Contention and get him on the 3:10 train to Yuma. He is a man just trying to do right by his family.

Ben Foster (Alpha Dog, X-Men 3: The Last Stand) is good as Wade’s number two, Charlie Prince. He leads the hunt to track down and free Wade before he is sent off to stand trial. He is fast with a gun and quick to kill, but almost seems to be doing his best impression of Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday in Tombstone, just without the tuberculosis or the wit.

3:10 to Yuma starts off slow, which is good. It gives you a chance to get acquainted with the various characters. Unfortunately, it never picks up the pace. It just plods along for the most part until the final scene, which I won’t give away, but didn’t really care for. Those two aspects took away from what could have been a really great western. It does have plenty of gunfights throughout its almost two hours, but takes its time getting to them.

The New Mexico landscape stands in for Arizona, but each location and the scenery it provides is all beautifully shot. The wide-open spaces, dusty creek beds, canyons and mountains all give you the perfect backdrop for the classic western.

If you are a fan of the western film genre or just like good movies, you probably won’t be disappointed with a matinee showing of 3:10 to Yuma.

What did you think of 3:10 to Yuma?

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Jason of New Movie Friday
1 comment… add one
  • patrick Feb 5, 2008, 5:20 pm

    this might be one of the best westerns i have ever seen, maybe tied with butch cassidy and the sundance kid

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