3:10 to Yuma Redux

by Alan Rapp on January 15, 2008

in Home Video

  • Title: 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
  • IMDB: link

“Just remember, it’s your old man that hauled Ben Wade to that station… when nobody else would.”

3:10 to YumaThis remake of the 1957 film (read that review) makes a few changes to the tale.  The down-on-his-luck farmer Dan Evans (Christian Bale) still agrees to help deliver the notorious outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to justice, but in this version his reasons are just as much about making himself look better in his son’s eyes (Logan Leman) as providing for his family.

The inclusion of the son on the adventure changes the dynamic of the relationship and the one-upsmanship between Ben and Dan.  Although this gives the film a fresh take on the story, it’s a take that isn’t as good as the original.

Also of interest here is the peculiar ending which seems haphazardly put together.  In the first film Wade reluctantly helps Dan at the last minute, but here Wade and Dan almost become bosom pals (which was the intention of director James Mangold) as they race through the town trying to catch the train.  So the tense psychological drama is dropped in favor of a buddy film. Sigh.

This version has more stunts, bigger explosions, and more gunfights, but sadly it doesn’t quite measure up.  The lessening of the psychological elements, partly due to the inclusion of the son and part in due to Mangold’s emphasis on making a buddy picture, lessen the film’s impact and leave it a dim version of the original.  Also disappointing is the new ending which includes far too many quick escapes and a twist which will leave a bitter taste in your mouth.  The film never becomes more than the sum of its parts, but if you haven’t seen the original, or simply want to compare this new film to it, than it might be worth your time.  Maybe.

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