|Likable Actors in a Definitive Western Exp.||3 out of 3 users found this review helpful.|
2007 seems to be the year of western movies – from No Country For Old Men to There Will Be Blood. To my surprise, these films aren’t bad either especially with There Will Be Blood which nabbed a number of Oscars. This movie 3:10 to Yuma is one of those movies that has a strong cast and performance, great storyline and an action-packed western to satisfy your needs.
Director James Magnolia impresses us again with creating a western that didn’t fall short as a flawed movie. He created such an atmosphere in the West that isn’t drawn-out and bland like other western movies, years ago. Such western classics with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood didn’t really appeal to me, they often have these long-winded and drawn-out scenes that really puts me to sleep but it isn’t the fault of these classics – westerns tend to convey much of its long-winded scenes as we get to some the environment and atmosphere centering around these character as they progress through the story. 3:10 to Yuma has those scenes but it delivers even more.
Russell Crowe plays Ben Wade; a notorious and charismatic outlaw who along with his gang, robs and kills for a living. One day, as they ambushed an armoured bank truck accompanied by bounty hunters and the like, Wade encounters Dan Evans played by Christian Bale who he let him, and his two sons go as well as return the cattle and horses as promised. This didn’t bode well for Dan as earlier on; a person has burned down his barn and claim territory for the Railroads ‘company. In Brisbee, the Marshalls had taken Wade and Dan in desperate need of money, volunteers to help a band of people to take Wade to Contention, a prison to Yuma where he will be hanged upon the federal court.
From there on, we see some chemistry or friendship with Wade and Evans. It’s pretty much like an Off-Road Movie, where the protagonist/main character just wants to hull the villain to jail and this villain/other dude is charismatic trying to crack wise in any situation possible. But later on, we see that they both aren’t the outlaw and the volunteer – it’s more developing into a friend that Wade didn’t have with his loyal gang of outlaws. It’s pretty much a western Off-Road movie but instead of being struck with a wise cracking companion, Evans is first accompanied by a rad-tag bunch of volunteers from the Railroad Company trying to hull him into the train to Yuma and Wade’s gang of outlaw trying to rescue him from the captives. But during their journey, Wade picks them off one by one until Evans and his son, William (Percy Jackson) is alone while he still is enjoying being captive.
It’s no surprise that Russell Crowe’s performance is outstanding – he completely owns his character as Wade and makes him a likable outlaw/character through the journey to Yuma. He doesn’t try to exaggerated on the wise cracking or the “rational/likable” outlaw in the gang, he just does both and I really didn’t mind that he’s an outlaw. It is also a surprise that Christian Bale doesn’t do his Dark Knight “impressions” as Evans, he plays it smoothly like Wade; from developing their character, talking about their past to becoming a companion or a loyal companion at the end that doesn’t break “any promises”.
Action wise, it’s janned-packed with on-horse shoot-outs, ambushes to shootouts in settlements, making it a blast to watch. Magnolia crafts these scenes more exciting with the likes of impressive shootouts. Scenes like escaping the vengeful prospectors as they want to kill Wade where the Chinese is building the railroad, the ambush scene with Wade and his gang of outlaws ambushes the bank truck as a mounted machine/Gatling gun blasts his gang to them walking into Apache territory. It’s these scenes that are out-of-the-seat exciting and a blast to watch them.
3:10 to Yuma is truly one of the contenders of best western flicks of last decade, with such brilliant performances with Crowe and Bale, action-packed scenes to the environment that they traversed in. Magnold doesn’t disappoint with this western flick and so does other western movies during the year that this movie had released. It’s fascinating that Crowe plays the outlaw, the fact that he plays his well surprises me and it’s really a likable and charming off-road western movie.