Updated: Oct 11
James Mangold's 2007 western 3:10 to Yuma, staring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, tells the story of the capture and transport of a notorious outlaw named Ben Wade (Crowe). The film follows struggling rancher Dan Evans (Bale) as the two paths cross after Wade ambushes and robs an armoured stagecoach near his land. A series of miscalculations follow Wade thereafter which results in his capture and need of transport to Yuma Territorial Prison. Evans nominates himself with a hefty fee, and then their unforgiving journey through the west begins.
What follows is a cat and mouse western, shot beautifully in New Mexico, USA and featuring stand out performances from Hollywood's best. Tense moments filled with engaging dialogue and action makes 3:10 to Yuma a masterful piece of cinematic history that will have you on the edge of your seat. The classic tale of a captured outlaw's gang trying to save the captive through unstoppable and evil hellfire holds up every day of the week, and with superb direction, special effects and cinematography, 3:10 to Yuma hold true even 13 years later.
The film's only let down is the script. It builds on the idea of Wade having heart and, well, stockholm syndrome, which takes way to many turns after the halfway mark. This leaves a gap in his character which otherwise would have felt solid without the additional input. It turns what otherwise is an organic and simple connection with a super villain who is more than he appears into a manufactured almost two dimensional 'bloke', almost ruining what the film built so masterfully over the previous hour and 30 minutes.
Overall, 3:10 to Yuma is a long film, sitting in at over 2 hours, but nonetheless is on the list of films you must see before you die. It's beautifully made and immensely entertaining. It's an enjoyable ride from start to end and a great throw back to the modern era of fun westerns we rarely see today.