3:10 to Yuma (2007)

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Published on: 2008.02.25

IMDb: 3:10 to Yuma
Wikipedia: 3:10 to Yuma
Rating: R
(violence and some language)
Length: 122 min (2:02)
Director: James Mangold
Genre: Western / Crime / Drama
My Rating: 9 of 10
Family Friendly: Western-style violence, several instances of swearing/cursing.
I haven’t seen every western in the world, but I’ve probably seen over a hundred of them, and this one was the best.

Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, Logan Lerman, Dallas Roberts, Vinessa Shaw


3:10 to Yuma (2007) is a story of simple heroism, of a rancher in Arizona doing the right thing. Dan Evans (played by Christian Bale) feels this need to be heroic partly because his oldest son sees him as a weakling, and partly because he’s already been known as a hero, for something that didn’t happen.

The movie never shows Evans’ missing leg, though several characters make mention of it, and he sometimes walks with a limp. To me, this was the only fault of the movie — that Evans sometimes doesn’t appear to be handicapped in any way. In other scenes, the leg really seems to be bothering him.

But the film is full of fantastic scenery, stellar acting, innovative action scenes, and intriguing dialogue.

The editing may have been the movie’s best feature. The scenes felt tight and crisp, with very little useless lag time. This is extremely important in modern movies, what with our short attention spans. We can’t be bothered to sit through several minutes where nothing happens.

But in 3:10 to Yuma, something is always happening. If not, then the camera is showing something important to the audience, something you need to know.

Another thing that greatly impressed me was the realization that the two lead roles were played by Australians: Christian Bale and Russell Crowe.

I’ve read that Tom Cruise briefly expressed interest in playing the villain. Thank god he didn’t; that would have ruined this film for me.

The film drew generally favorable reviews, though several said the original was better. I haven’t seen the original, and time may not allow that luxury. But this one was good enough.

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