Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
Meanwhile on Twitter
Loading latest tweet...
Ben Nadel at CFUNITED 2008 (Washington, D.C.) with:

3:10 To Yuma Starring Russell Crowe And Christian Bale

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: Movies

Last night, I went to see 3:10 To Yuma in a sold out theatre that had no air conditioning. Let that be my up-front disclaimer that this review might be a bit tainted. That being said, I thought that this movie was simply OK. There was nothing particularly bad about it, but there was also nothing particularly good about it. It's a long movie to begin with, running at just under 2 hours, but the first half was so slow that the movie was perceived as much longer. When the last 15 minutes do finally arrive after this molasses-like build-up, the pay-off is not huge and certainly not worth the wait.


 
 
 

 
3:10 To Yuma Movie Poster  
 
 
 

Warning: Spoilers might be contained below.

The last 15 minutes of the movie, which take place in Contention, consists of a drawn out climax where the actors run around this tiny town shooting at each other with horrible aim and a seemingly unending supply of bullets. Now, I love a good fire fight as much as the next guy, but this one just loses its believability and quickly thereafter, its enjoyability. 3:10 To Yuma makes the same mistake that I find many modern-day action movies are making: putting the hero up against insurmountable odds and allowing them to come out of it victorious. This does not come across as some super-hero-like meeting, but rather as an abuse to the idea of a "suspension of disbelief."


 
 
 

 
Russell Crowe And Christian Bale In 3:10 To Yuma  
 
 
 

Now, don't even get me started on the fact that the whole movie is made possible because Ben Wade leaves the safety of his gang for the company of a woman. I mean, come on?!? A woman is great - I love women, but just like climax of the movie, you watch this and you're thinking to yourself that this would never happen! A notorious outlaw simply wouldn't put themselves in that kind of danger. They wouldn't do it.

Despite everything, the movie does end with a somewhat satisfying bond between Dan Evans, played by Christian Bale, and Ben Wade, played by Russell Crowe. While Ben Wade portrays himself as being fully rotten, Evans is able to tap into the "Good" Ben Wade that exists somewhere deep inside and form a bond of respect. Of course, throughout the movie, Ben Wade's appreciation for drawing, his well groomed manners, and a general cool attitude makes him quite believable a decent guy; and so, this odd connection doesn't come off as surprising, as maybe it should have? I am not even sure what the director was going for, as this whole interaction is mixed in with a ridiculously unbelievable fire fight.


 
 
 

 
Russell Crowe And Christian Bale In 3:10 To Yuma  
 
 
 

From the previews, I was not really excited to see this at all. I am huge fan of both Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, and this was really the only thing that got me into the theatre. Both of them did a fine acting job and I still hold the both of them in quite a high regard, but had it been any two other actors, most likely, I would not have paid $11.00 to see this movie in the theatres. But, even with them, had the last 15 minutes of the film not been somewhat redeeming, I would have been left feeling angry about having paid the money to see it.

Also, Ben Foster of Alpha Dog and Six Feet Under, had a very large role in the film as Charlie Prince, Ben Wade's right-hand man. I gotta be honest - I just don't like this guy. I can't tell you exactly why; he just kind of rubs me the wrong way for some reason. Every time he pops up in a movie (which is more and more recently) I just kind of groan and think to myself, "Oh man, this guys in it?" As such, I am sure it made the film less enjoyable.

All in all, the movie was slightly satisfying, but not worth the money. I would recommend waiting until it comes out on video; there's nothing about it that requires the big screen experience.



Reader Comments

ben, this is a remake of a classic 1957 movie. glenn ford played the villain in that, against type (same as russell crowe i guess). so as far as "same mistake that I find many modern-day action movies are making", it's not.

btw the films are based on a story by one of my favorite american writers, elmore leonard.

find the original (it's B&W), it's a darned good film.

My wife and a friend saw it and absolutely loved it. They both said it was very gripping. Now, I was a bit skeptical about a woman's opinion given the cast. However, my wife, who was a film major and worked "the business" in Hollywood for a couple of years is usually very, very particular and man-meat doesn't usually sway her reviews.

Any theater without A/C would have me walking out. I sweat when I exercise, not when I'm paying money to relax.

@Justin,

Certainly everyone can have their own opinion. After all "Unforgiven" won best picture didn't it? I thought that movie was VERY SLOW. It had some kill lines, in particular "Deserve's got nothing to do with it", but all the same, what some people fine to be amazing an gripping, I find slow and unbearable. So, just one man's opinion.

Well, actually i found this movie extremely well done.
Ben Wade wasn't good or bad from the beginning.
He was simply a man built on morals.
as you watch the movie, each character is explained, but not as the 'good' man or the 'dumb' man, but in a more deep way.
his getting caught with a woman, well, it just shows the way he was.
confident.
Ben wade is an odd character, not totally awful, but not 'good' either.
he didnt follow the law "made by man"
but his own 'law' mixed up with Gods law.
To actually enjoy the movie, youve got to understand it.

Ben,

Upon further review of your review, after reading your thoughts on how no outlaw would put themselves in "that kind of danger," I realize that you just don't get it. What is most compelling about Ben Wade is that he cannot be unraveled. Though he is seeminly a prisoner through the film, he is in complete control. The only thing that interests him is the human dignity quotient from Bale's character. He's not even afraid of gunning down his own men or boarding a direct ride to prison. You're projecting weakness on a character that is not weak, which sorry to say, says more about you than any performance of the film.

[yawn]

Lisa Hester

@Lisa,

Perhaps there is fine line between been brave and being stupid. I think Ben's actions are a reflection of how he felt about the law enforcement people, and luckily, his thoughts were correct. Frankly, I am surprised that the law let him live; when he threw the hold man over the cliff or stabbed the other man to death, he should have been gunned down then and there. Part of what made the movie less than believable was the fact that the law keeps went to such great lengths to keep this killer alive while they themselves were being killed. It seems like a very odd balance of virtues.

Basically, Ben's whole set of actions were based on the fact that not even the law would try to take him down. I think it's only lucky that that was true (and frankly, made for a less enjoyable movie).

You should check out the original 3:10 to yuma before you pass judgement upon the story. Granted, I have yet to see this new one, but the original is fantastic. Just check it out and see what you think.

I've seen this movie as well. The movie was great overall, but in reality no bad-guy suddenly turns good...
Especially in the ending when he killed all his partners who came to save him and even sacrificed himself just so the father can show his son that he is brave. That's nonsense.

I have watched this DVD twenty some times now and enjoy it each time, I love everything about it and each actor did his part extremely well, I wished there were more westerns these days it is a shame there are not, thanks to all that were in the making of this movie, very well done y'all Jeff a.k.a. TruckerTwotimes