3:10 to Yuma
Genre: Action & Adventure
Runtime: 1 hr 57 min
MPAA Rating: R
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Peter Fonda, Ben Foster
The movie strains credulity at every turn.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 8 years ago
3:10 TO YUMA, director James Mangold's remake of Delmer Daves's 1957 film starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, is a very disappointing western snoozer. Underacted and underwritten, the movie drags along, coming alive only in the traditional gunfights, which are few and far between. When guns are blazing, the movie is fun, although nothing especially original.
The movie strains credulity at every turn. It's not just that the guns have nearly infinite supplies of bullets or that one man, pinned down by seven, all with perfect firing positions, still manages to win the battle against them, it is the actions of the characters.
Ben Wade, played with a wry grin by Russell Crowe, is the "baddest" of the bad guys. Ready, willing and able to kill others even while tied up, Ben consistently goes against his own best interest for no logical reason. He is captured in a town when he knows people are coming to take him off to be hanged and when all he needs to do to avoid capture is just to leave. Later, he does certain actions that are just downright stupid and make no sense whatsoever. I will not elaborate on those, lest I give away too much.
With WALK THE LINE, director Mangold was able to craft a very entertaining film, full of good characters. But 3:10 TO YUMA, which will likely put one more nail in the western genre's coffin, is more like Mangold's lethargic COP LAND, starring Sylvester Stallone, which had a HIGH NOON ending but was painfully dull up until the ending.
Christian Bale stars as Crowe's counterpart on the good side. Bale plays a rancher down on his luck since the bank is about to repossess his spread. For two hundred dollars, he agrees to be part of a doomed group of guards who will take Ben to a train, the 3:10, leaving for Yuma prison. Once there, Ben will be hanged, unless, that is, he escapes from it as he has already done twice before.
But the chances of Ben ever getting to the train on time appear unlikely as Ben's cut-throat crew are in hot pursuit after him so that they can release him and kill all of his guards. It sounds a lot more interesting than it is on the screen. Mangold manages to suck the energy out of most scenes, so that the story just drifts along until the evitable big, ending showdown. The last act is by far the best, but, suffering so many implausibilities, it is definitely not worth waiting for.
3:10 TO YUMA runs 1:57. It is rated R for "violence and some language" and would be acceptable for teenagers.