3:10 to Yuma
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In Arizona in the late 1800s, infamous outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) and his vicious gang of thieves and murderers have plagued the Southern Railroad. When Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans (Christian Bale), struggling to survive on his drought-plagued ranch, volunteers to deliver him alive to the "3:10 to Yuma," a train that will take the killer to trial. On the trail, Evans and Wade, each from very different worlds, begin to earn each other's respect. But with Wade's outfit on their trail -- and dangers at every turn -- the mission soon becomes a violent, impossible journey toward each man's destiny.
Here's hoping James Mangold's big, raucous, and ultrabloody remake of 3:10 to Yuma leads some moviegoers to check out Delmer Daves's beautifully lean, half-century-old original. That classic Western spun a tale of captured outlaw Ben Wade (Glenn Ford)--deadly but disarmingly affable--and the small-time rancher and family man, Dan Evans (Van Heflin), desperate enough to accept the job of helping escort the badman to Yuma prison. Wade, knowing that his gang will be along at any moment to spring him, works at persuading the ultimately lone deputy to accept a bribe, turn his back on "duty," and go home safe and rich to his family. That the outlaw has come to admire his captor intriguingly complicates the suspense. All of the above applies in the new 3:10, but it takes a lot more huffing and puffing to get Wade (Russell Crowe this time) and Evans (Christian Bale) into position for the showdown. Mostly, more is less. To Mangold's credit, his movie doesn't traffic in facile irony or postmodern detachment; it aims to be a straight-up Western and deliver the excitement and charisma the genre's fans are starved for. But recognizing that contemporary viewers might be out of touch with the bedrock simplicity and strength of the genre--not to mention its code of honor--Mangold has supplied both Evans and Wade with a plethora of backstory and "motivations." At the overblown action climax, the crossfire of personal agendas is almost as frenetic as the copious gunplay. (By that point the movie has killed more people than the Lincoln County War.) Best thing about the remake is Russell Crowe's Ben Wade, a Scripture-quoting career villain with an artist's eye and a curiously principled sense of whom and when to murder. As his second-in-command, Ben Foster fairly pirouettes at every opportunity to commit mayhem, and Peter Fonda contributes a fierce portrait of an old Wade adversary turned bounty hunter for the Pinkerton detective agency. --Richard T. Jameson
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The 2007 remake takes it to a new level and includes several plot events that were not included in the original. Since it was in color, this could be a tip off that this version was not necessarily beholding to the original and in many ways it was not. I did not find this at all objectionable nor problematic. This generally seemed to work to more effectively develop the plot and intensify the story. This is also true of the ending - which I will save for you to see.
This is a good western. It features a good cast of characters and it is a great storyline. A group of men transfer a wanted and dangerous criminal to a town to catch the train to Yuma. Meanwhile his gang has gathered to find out where their leader is and help him to escape.
The cinematography is spectacular. The storyline is well written and the cast does a good job of bringing the story to life. I purchased the BluRay version of the film as it was on sale for a very good price. I then added a HDX digital copy to stream to my tablets and also to my digital high resolution projector.
This is a good movie and if you like westerns then you will like this one.
We enjoyed this film and it is a western that I was glad to be added to our film collection.
I won't rehash the plot because ever other review does that. What is so intriguing about the movie is that while Wade and Evans hate each other and have wildly different views about right and wrong, they still have a certain amount of respect for each other. Well, more so Wade shows a respect for Evan's character. As the film goes on we learn more about the characters and that they are not originally who they seem. It leaves me to wonder if Ben Wade is not a product of his environment and not born a cold-blooded killer. This is the nature vs. nurture argument.