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3:10 To Yuma (2007)

Film poster for Russell Crowe & Christian Bale western remake 3:10 To Yuma (2007)
Originally Written
Sunday, September 9, 2007

Over a year ago I reviewed one of my favorite westerns of all-time, The Quick And The Dead. In that review I said I wished Russell Crowe did more westerns... well one year later my wish has been granted with the film 3:10 To Yuma, quite possibly one of the best westerns ever made! If this film doesn't signify the return of a once loved genre, then I don't know what does!

Christian Bale on a horse in the western 3:10 To Yuma (2007)
Dan Evans and sons about to have their world turned upside down.
3:10 To Yuma is about a struggling rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) who has an opportunity to save his family from being kicked off their land by escorting the famous criminal Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to the 3:10 train headed to Yuma prison. Dan and his family have had a rough life, and it hasn't helped matters when his oldest son thinks he's weak for not standing up to those who keep pushing their family down. When Dan witnesses Ben Wade's arrest it seems like the perfect opportunity to earn the money needed to save his farm and prove to his son, and himself, that he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep his family alive.

Russell Crowe playing the villain in 3:10 To Yuma (2007) holding a hostage at bay with a shotgun.
Russell Crowe's triumph return to the western genre after 12 years.
But escorting the notorious killer proves not to be such an easy task. Wade is definitely no pushover and he takes every opportunity he can get to outwit his captors and make a clean break, but even if Wade is unable to escape he knows it will only a matter of time before his gang catches up to them. Wade's cutthroat gang lead by the merciless Charlie Prince (Ben Foster) will stop and nothing to prevent their arrival at that train station. The closer Dan and Wade get to their destination the more Dan puts his life at risk and the greater the chance he'll never make it back!

Russell Crowe as Ben Wade in 3:10 To Yuma (2007) being led up of a saloon by a posse of men.
It takes a posse to keep Ben Wade in check!
Russell Crowe strikes gold once again with another incredible performance as the outlaw Ben Wade. What's so great about Russell is he's able to make the character quite villainous and merciless yet at the same time still manage to be quite likable. Is Wade's "softer side" only a part of his witty charm to mislead people or does Wade truly have a good side? Well the film provides plenty of evidence to support both outlooks, but any way you want see it Russell Crowe was perfect for the role and by far delivers the best performance with flawless transformation from fierce to charming without blinking an eye.

Ben Foster as Charlie Prince in 3:10 To Yuma (2007) loading his gun while hunched behind a fence.
Ben Foster nails the role of the slimy right hand man to Russell Crowe's Ben Wade
Christian Bale puts on a solid performance as well, but while Bale doesn't appear to be as versatile an actor as Crowe he still consistently delivers a note worthy performance as usual, buts it's quite obvious that Crowe stands out as the shining star in this film. Another awesome performance was from Ben Foster as Wade's right hand man. Foster does an excellent job playing a blood thirsty killer who has absolutely no respect for human life. Foster's character is plain evil and numerous times throughout the film he gets that demon look in his eye that's quite vicious. I remember Foster when he starred in the short lived Disney television series Flash Forward, it looks as if he's done quite well for himself in the last 12 years; I haven't seen much of his work since his Disney days but his performance in this film was excellent.

Christian Bale and Russell Crowe on horse back in 3:10 To Yuma (2007)
Not everyone will survive this journey to Yuma.
As for the film itself, 3:10 To Yuma may have a simple plot, but what makes it amazing is it's ability to take that plot and weave within it a very well crafted and entertaining story that's able to keep the viewer interested for 2 hours. The acting is top notch, the action is exhilarating, the scenery and musical score amazing and the conclusion jaw dropping.

Christian Bale as Dan Evans hiding behind two wooden barrels, gun drawn, intense look on his face in film 3:10 To Yuma (2007)
Does Dan Evans have what it takes to finish the job and get Ben Wade on that train?
The final 30 minutes of the film is truly mesmerizing. Had it ended in the first hour and a half I wouldn't be giving it a perfect score, while it was an entertaining and solid first 90 minutes it wasn't perfection, but it's in the last 30 minutes where this film truly reaches perfection. I can honestly say I don't think I've ever seen a better 30 minutes of film in all my life as the last 30 minutes of 3:10 To Yuma. The conclusion is able to mix humor, action, drama and emotion so flawlessly that I swear by the last few minutes of the film my jaw was dropped and I was shaking in anticipation... yes it's that good! Even with some things being quite predictable the film closes so perfectly that it still manages to "WOW" you.

Christian Bale and Russell Crowe on horseback in 3:10 To Yuma (2007)
Batman and Maximus
Overall, I have no problem saying 3:10 To Yuma is by far the best film of the year so far, Crowe's return in American Gangster may change that opinion but as of right now there's no other film out there that can match this one. This isn't the ravings of a Russell Crowe fanatic, while I'm probably the biggest die hard Crowe fan on Rotten Tomatoes the slew of perfect scores from other users proves I'm not the only one who found this film magnificent.

10/10


6 comments:

  1. wow a ten out of ten. thats a big deal from you lol

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  2. One of the best Westerns from the 21st Century.

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  3. I'll agree with that statement CMrok93 not just because it's one of the few westerns made in the 21st Century, but because Russell Crowe is awesome and it frankly is one of the best!

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  4. ohhhhhh, bbbbbbbbbbbbben! the baddest of the bad men, and i'd give anything to meet him! i'm not a western fan, but i simply love this film. i love it enough that i may have to watch the 50's original. russell is perfect as ben; christian bale is terrific as the beleaguered rancher; and ben foster is frighteningly good as the psychotic and adoring (shall we say 'loving?') second-in-command.
    i give this a 12 out of 10!

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  5. I'm not a huge western fan... but I LOVE this movie! Even though Ben Wade, is the most cut throat villain I have ever seen, I would pay HUGE amounts of money to meat him! 10/10!!!

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