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Here's hoping James Mangold's big, raucous, and ultrabloody remake of 3:10 to Yuma leads some moviegoers to check out Delmer Daves's beautifully lean, half-century-old original. That classic Western spun a tale of captured outlaw Ben Wade (Glenn Ford)--deadly but disarmingly affable--and the small-time rancher and family man, Dan Evans (Van Heflin), desperate enough to accept the job of helping escort the badman to Yuma prison. Wade, knowing that his gang will be along at any moment to spring him, works at persuading the ultimately lone deputy to accept a bribe, turn his back on "duty," and go home safe and rich to his family. That the outlaw has come to admire his captor intriguingly complicates the suspense.All of the above applies in the new 3:10, but it takes a lot more huffing and puffing to get Wade (Russell Crowe this time) and Evans (Christian Bale) into position for the showdown. Mostly, more is less.
To Mangold's credit, his movie doesn't traffic in facile irony or postmodern detachment; it aims to be a straight-up Western and deliver the excitement and charisma the genre's fans are starved for. But recognizing that contemporary viewers might be out of touch with the bedrock simplicity and strength of the genre--not to mention its code of honor--Mangold has supplied both Evans and Wade with a plethora of backstory and "motivations." At the overblown action climax, the crossfire of personal agendas is almost as frenetic as the copious gunplay. (By that point the movie has killed more people than the Lincoln County War.) Best thing about the remake is Russell Crowe's Ben Wade, a Scripture-quoting career villain with an artist's eye and a curiously principled sense of whom and when to murder. As his second-in-command, Ben Foster fairly pirouettes at every opportunity to commit mayhem, and Peter Fonda contributes a fierce portrait of an old Wade adversary turned bounty hunter for the Pinkerton detective agency. --Richard T. Jameson
What can I say, I love western's and this is a good old fashioned duster !!
I highly recommend it !!
Great to see an actual really good western. Very raw but extremely well acted. I have told everyone that like me had not seen this movie.Published on May 14 2013 by Christine Bennett
Bons acteurs, un western dans la trempe des films de Sergio Leone, je recommande ce film à tous les amateurs de l'ouest américain des annés 1800Published on April 5 2011 by Luc Delisle
Great character development that goes off in directions unexpected for the genre. You start not knowing who to cheer for, and by the end you realize you need to be rooting for both... Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2008 by Steven Trustrum