Based off of a 1953 dime store magazine 3:10 to Yuma is about a rancher(Christian Bale)
struggling to support his spread and win the respect of his family during hard times. Desperately needing money to build his farm, he takes an assignment to transport a notorious outlaw(Russ Crowe)
to Yuma for imprisonment.With Crowe's loyal posse hot on their trail, the outlaw begins to tempt Bale while testing his moral balance doing what is right and surviving.
"3:10" was yet another notch up in bringing back a genre almost lost to my generation. James Mangold(Walk the Line)
does an thrilling job in directing his actors and camera.
The first fifteen minutes(right before the stage coach robbery) are my favorite compositions of the movie. The introduction to the characters and the world of the western is flawless.
Bale and Crowe playing against each other with beautiful friction but with growing respect. One a cold blooded killer with a hidden warm center and the other a broken rancher looking to prove himself...to himself.
One of the best lines of the movie is delivered by Christian to his wife's begging for the answer to a desperate "why"? In a hushed plea Bale responds, "I'm tired of the way my son's look at me and I'm tired of the way you don't".
Crowe's hombres of merciless killers is lead by none other than a two gun wielding Ben Foster(Angel from X3)
. Ben's presence on screen was unpredictable and ruthless. His respect and love for his "boss" was noble, even for an outlaw...even until death. No matter whose gun it's under.
The rest of the hombres barely said a word. There was no need. Mangold gave us their character through costume, weapon, and actions. As the wise man once said. Actions speak louder than words. And besides, Foster spoke enough for the whole group.
Another nice surprise are the actors that pop up. We get some Luke Wilson, Peter Fonda, Alan Tudyk(Death at a Funeral and Serenity)
, Dallas Roberts(Walk the Line, the guy who says "If your hit by a truck and lyin in the ditch")
, and even Vinessa Shaw(Hills Have Eyes).
If I had any complaints about "Yuma" it will be found within the script. It took me some conscious efforts to suspend belief in the characters decisions towards the end of the movie. In hindsight it makes sense but while watching I was doubting Crowe's rhyme and reasons.
Great acting, great camera, great music(forgot to mention I loved the music)
, and a decent story. Need I say more.