3:10 to Yuma
A failing farmer volunteers to transport a criminal into the hands of the law.
by James Mangold
Release Date: 9/7/2007
3:10 to Yuma is everything a remake should be, said Connie Ogle in The Miami Herald. James Mangold’s excellent new version of the classic 1957 Western is a movie about good and evil that “never neglects its shades of gray.” It deviates little from the plot of the original: Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is a farmer beset by drought whose family is losing faith in his ability to provide. Strapped for cash, Evans offers to be deputized as an escort for the notorious criminal Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), whose jailers will meet him at the afternoon train to Yuma. But Wade’s mind-games and offers of money make it difficult for Evans to live up to his own moral standard. The 92-minute original concerned that psychological drama, said Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. But Mangold’s two-hour film, in order to draw bloodthirsty action fans, spends its extra time on violence. “When Dan finally meets up with Ben’s gang, this version has a body count that borders on the ludicrous—and a climax that strains credulity.” Yet Mangold’s all-star cast makes it work, said Christopher Kelly in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Bale and Crowe are great, but as the androgynous sociopath Charlie Prince, Ben Foster “single-handedly saves 3:10 to Yuma from drifting into inertia.”