Written by / 4/02/2012 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

3:10 TO YUMA

title: 3:10 TO YUMA
year: 2007
cast: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale
rating: ***1/2

Hurray, they got a modern Western right while treating an Elmore Leonard cowboy flick with the grim gusto of his source novel. Full of twists and bloody gunfights, this is a suspenseful tale of an injured debt-burdened rancher Dan Evans who witnesses a massacre involving an outlaw, Ben Wade, and his gang of seedy, stage coach robbing thugs. Christian Bale as Evans exudes the right amount slowburn pathos for a burdened protagonist, allowing Russell Crowe’s Wade, a cross between Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Hannibal Lector, to steal the show. While in transit to a small town where a 3:10 train will take the captured Wade to Yuma prison, the lawmen have to keep the Bible-reciting villain out of their heads. He can play with any mind if you let him, and cut throats too. Crowe displays a cool murky charm, especially in conversations with Stevens and his young son, who aren’t sure if a heart resides beneath that iron skin. There’s a constant feeling that anything can happen, and the best scenes occur before arriving at the town where, holed up in a hotel, Wade’s men (including an ultraviolent Ben Foster) arrive to free their boss in a somewhat typical showdown. But it’s all pretty great "Neo Noir Western" stuff from start to finish.
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