First: I LOVE this movie.
Second: I do not LOVE Russell Crowe.
Third: I can give or take with Christian Bale.
Fourth: An Aussie and a Welsh dude doing an American Western? I don’t think so.
Fifth: I LOVE this movie.
I’ve seen this a dozen times and I have found it hard to talk about how much I like this – or – why I like this so much. My friend Lem doesn’t like it and he’s a “western” guy. So what do I find so appealing here? I think Bale’s “Dan” is an awesome character who has nothing left to lose and just wants to take care of his family. At one point he even says “I don’t think anyone could think less of me” to his wife he loves while his kid that adores “old west-y” gunfighters snoops on. Being an only child without anyone to hang out with most of my life, I also really approve and love the whole story of trying to be impressive to your son – trying to have someone think you’re “all aces” and look up to you.
I also REALLY liked some of the camera work, especially that horseback chase scene through that tunnel. I liked how Crowe’s character “got” Bales’ toward the end and worked to help him win over his son. I liked that Luke Wilson was in this for two minutes. I LOVED Alan Tudyk (again and again and again with my love for this guy) and I totally loved that scene through town at the end.
So what did I not care for in this? I dig Ben Foster but he can be a bit too much at times and I thought he was overdoing it here. I also didn’t particularly care for Crowe’s smugness or the hat tossing or some of the dialogue (but I think that’s Crowe’s fault) but everything else worked out really awesome for me! I don’t see many westerns and it’s not that I have anything against them, it’s just most of what I check out is the horror variety so I can try and get some thrills. I also don’t know if I would call this a “masterpiece” like someone did up in that poster but I love it every time I see it.
Bale is a down on his luck rancher with two kids and Gretchen Mol as his wife. One of his kids thinks he’s worthless and the other is too young to know better. Crowe is an outlaw who robs and kills for his thrills and Foster is his subordinate. Bale’s misfortune is so bad that the bank is burning things on his property. Crowe accidentally gets himself arrested in Bisbee and the law is taking him to Contention to put him on the 3:10 train to Yuma. Now they just have to get him there….
I would totally recommend this to anyone and say “take a chance” (even if you don’t like Crowe).