Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

09 September 2007

3:10 to Yuma

It's like a Gladys Knight song whenever I write the title of James Mangold's new movie 3:10 to Yuma.

He's leaving
On that midnight train to Yuma.
I'd rather live in his world
Than live without him in mine.

I liked 3:10 to Yuma, but not all that much, I have to be honest. The movie looks really great (snow on the desert = great visuals) but it is a longer movie than it should be, and it wrings sentiment out of its scenes like so much whiskey. Still, there are a lot of good things to be said about it. The performances are uniformly good. Christian Bale and Russell Crowe are top-notch. Crowe is doing his movie star schtick, but it's as charming as ever. Bale is a little more earnest than he should be, but he's great as usual (and ubiquitous - he sure does work). Gretchen Mol has a couple really good scenes, too. And Peter Fonda has an excellent supporting role that suits him just right. My favorite performance in the film is by Ben Foster (of X-men 3 fame), who plays Crowe's right-hand man. It's a bold, crazy, hip-swinging performance that reminded me a lot of Tim Roth's murderous turn in Rob Roy (for a lot of reasons).

The film had me hooked for quite a while, actually, it's just that the third act of 3:10 to Yuma doesn't make a damn bit of sense and takes a turn toward the unapologetically sentimental when it should be hard-bitten.

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