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!
|Dan Evans and sons about to have their world turned upside down.|
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.