Yet another film that could have gone a totally different way if the people in it hadn’t been so staggeringly stupid.
Christian Bale and Russell Crowe star in a taut, well-acted chase film in which Batman escorts the Gladiator to the eponymous prison-train. Crowe’s Ben Wade is a notorious outlaw, and Dan Evans (Bale) has been offered money to bring him in. Meanwhile, Wade’s gang are in pursuit, trying to spring their leader.
3:10 to Yuma is a remake of a 1957 film, and it certainly feels like a classic Western. The big surprise is that it’s based on an Elmore Leonard story – a man I more associate with fare like Get Shorty and Out of Sight.
It’s not a bad film, and has all the ingredients to be a very good one. It’s just the stupidity of the characters that lets it down. Still, it was broadly profitable ($70m gross against a $55m budget) and very well reviewed, with a Metacritic score of 76. I’d certainly agree that the performances are worth the price of admission – Crowe, in particular, demonstrates what made him a star.
When they’re holed up in the hotel, the rest of the outlaw gang are standing outside. Bale and his men are high up, obscured from the view of the ground, but with a good view of their surroundings. In this position … they talk.
HOW IT WOULD HAVE ENDED
Armed with pretty accurate rifles – and Bale at least considers himself a crack shot – they snipe the seven villains off their horses from the comfort of the hotel room. Even if they only shoot one or two, they’ve rebalanced the ratio of outlaws to bounty hunters, and scared some sense into the duplicitous villagers.
If they only shot Prince, the rest of the outlaws would scatter without their second-in-command leader, and Bale and co would peacefully wander down to the tracks to deliver their man to the train.