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

Miami coach Jim Larranaga is staying on the Hurricanes while they keep piling up wins. Dewan Huell h ...

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

William W. Sandler Jr. Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education earns national recognition for it ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

Dewan Huell recorded his second double-double of the season as Miami improved to 9-0 with a 59-50 wi ...

The Miami Hurricanes football team hosted the 2017 Football Awards Show at Gusman Hall on the Univer ...

The Miami women's basketball team begins play at the Puerto Rico Classic Monday against Sacrame ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team capped its seven-game homestand with a 79-31 wi ...

University of Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios earned 2017 first-team 2017 CoSIDA Academic ...

TMH Twitter Feed
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.