Edge

Quiet on the Western Front for new Bale, Crowe flick

The subtlety of character in the Western genre has been stampeded by horror and action films. Yet, while the contemporary Western landscape resembles the barren plains that its films often depict, Hollywood still occasionally tries to make audiences recall a time when John Ford and Sergio Leone drove the industry.

The latest attempt is “3:10 to Yuma,” a story about a no-luck rancher named Dan Evans (Christian Bale) who agrees to transport the notorious criminal Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to a train so he can be brought to justice. Along the way, Evans must deal with shifting alliances and Wade’s nefarious mind games. Evans agrees to the mission so his farm may be spared and his family supported.

Evans’ honor is the heart of the movie. His journey is not so much about Wade and the miles traveled as it is about proving himself and his internal change. His honor is personified in his son, who has doubts about his father’s worth and seems to be easy prey for Wade’s deceptive charm.

The film has a wonderfully subdued style for a Western. The theme of what it means to be a man quietly runs throughout, something that proves infinitely better than the alternative route of noisy bravado.

The characters, however, prove to be the strongest aspect. The whole principle cast goes through significant change, and it gives the audience a set of three-dimensional people to watch. Bale and Crowe are mesmerizing in their shape-shifting personalities, and their difficult circumstances test their fortitude and moral character.

The restrained tone does dissolve into an improbable action sequence near the end, but the last moments regain the film’s true spirit. And while it never comes close to the brilliance of 2005’s “The Proposition,” “3:10 to Yuma” is a great film and a great Western.

Gabe Habash may be contacted at s.habash1@umiami.edu.

September 17, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

University of Miami head football coach Mark Richt was among the 20 coaches selected to the preseaso ...

Miami opens the Wooden Legacy against La Salle on Thanksgiving Day in Fullerton, Calif. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.