You don’t see westerns too often these days. The last good western I saw was Tombstone, and each time I re-watch it on TV (pretty much once a week), I realize how fast it’s climbing up the ranks of my favorite re-watchable films of all time.
Naturally, every western I see is/will be compared to Tombstone, especially since there are so few of them. 3:10 To Yuma was not Tombstone, and it wasn’t trying to be. It was on a much smaller scale and it focused on a few key characters as they made their way to catch a train. It was well done, and I enjoyed watching it, but how much can you ultimately accomplish, film-wise, with such a simple plot? I think 3:10 accomplished all it could have, especially in the relationship between the main protagonist and antagonist Christian Bale and Russel Crowe, respectively. This relationship is why I liked the movie.
Hats off to the casting director for choosing the perfect actors to fit the main rolls. Bale is great as the reserved, meek, former military sharp shooter who has hidden talents that we don’t really get to see until the end of the film. Crowe aptly plays the smooth talking criminal who is deranged but still has some good in him deep down. I also really enjoyed the performance of Ben Foster (remember Angel from the 3rd X-Men?) as Charlie Prince. He played a western villain so well that it’s up there with some of the performances from Tombstone. I’m sorry that’s the only western I reference, but that and The Quick and The Dead are the only westerns I’ve ever seen. BTW, LOL @ The Quick and The Dead. It sucked immensely, but it’s worth watching for the all star cast.
As mentioned, the heart and soul of this movie is the relationship between Dan Evans (Bale) and Ben Wade (Crowe). There is great dialogue, a lot of tense scenes, and a redemption story. It’s no Darth Vader redemption story, but really what can match that?
It just didn’t have enough “stuff” in it. That’s the only way I can describe it. It was s single-track plot about getting to a train. That’s it. I didn’t really get into the relationship between Dan Evans and his son. There really weren’t any other relationships to speak of besides that of the main two characters.
I didn’t like how long the ending was. It seemed dragged out. There were things said that I thought had already been said, and I also thought the entire last 20 minutes of the movie were completely unrealistic.
Acting – no beratings
Plot – 1 berating
Inconsistencies – no beratings
Unbelievable Events – 2 beratings
Schematics – no beratings
3/10 Berating = See it at the Five-Buck-Club
0/10 Stand in line for the very first showing
1/10 See it the first weekend
2/10 See it at full price
>> 3/10 See it at the Five-Buck-Club
4/10 See it at the dollar-fifty
5/10 See it OnDemand
6/10 Rent it from Blockbuster
7/10 Watch it on TV
8/10 Watch it purely for spousal points
9/10 Never watch it
10/10 Buy it and publicly destroy it