Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Movie Review

Movie Review #8

3:10 to Yuma

Starring: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale (need I say more?)

Rated: Rated R for violence and some language.

Type of Movie: Western

Description: The legendary outlaw, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his gang have just robbed an armed stage coach carrying the Southern Pacific Railroads payroll. They kill everyone onboard except Pinkerton guard, Byron McElroy (Peter Fonda) whom Wade shoots in the belly. A poor rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) and his two sons find McElroy and take him to Bisbee, Arizona to find a doctor. Ben Wade is in town without his gang and the sheriff immediately surrounds the hotel. Dan distracts Ben Wade, who is captured without a shot being fired. Railroad representative Grayson Butterfield (Dallas Roberts) asks for paid volunteers to join McElroy's posse to take Wade to the train station in the town of Contention three days away. The train is due at 3:10, and they must put Wade on the train's prison car bound for Yuma. Once Wade arrives in Yuma, he will receive a quick trial in Federal Court and be hanged. Dan Evans, desperately needing money to save his farm, agrees to help transport Wade to Contention but he must be paid $200. The other paid volunteers who join the posse are Tucker (Kevin Durand) and Doc Potter (Alan Tudyk), the town's veterinarian. Unfortunately for the posse, Charlie Prince (Ben Foster), Wade's right hand man, sees what has happened to Wade, and he goes after the rest of the gang to help liberate Wade.Despite a deception to fool the gang, the odds move in their favour, and in the end it's Dan's desire to impress his sons that means getting him on the train becomes a personal battle of wills.

OK for Kids? No, not at all.

Opinion: Two excellent actors. Very violent. Some bad language. I'm going to be honest here, If you want the review of a Christian who wouldn't see this movie please click here - it is a great review. I agree with a lot of what it said. I just didn't view it all that way. Maybe I am too wordly. I just don't know. I just know I enjoyed the movie. Following is a comment on the movie from the website of the review - this person said pretty much exactly how I felt, so no need for me to write it up myself and claim it as my own: I don't believe Evans took money to kill. I believe Evans took money to escort a prisoner through hostile territory, which is a very brave and noble thing. I also believe that Evans was a Christian, but he lost his way or his faith was wavering because he lost his leg by one of his own men and didn't get much to compensate for it. I believe Evans also saw an opportunity to provide a positive role model to his son by not taking money from the outlaw and by being brave enough to escort the prisoner when others were cowards. This was important because Evans’ son thought he was a coward, and in the beginning it seemed as if Evans’ son was at risk to following in the footsteps of the outlaw.I believe Evans saw an opportunity to earn the money he needed for his family and cattle by escorting a prisoner to a prison train. Any killing he did was in self-defense and not gratuitous. Evans did not waver in his morals. Prior to seeing the movie, the previews did not provide much plot summary, so I was surprised that most of the characters were bad, though some seemed worse than others. I was going to walk out when I realized it was mostly about outlaws or oppressors (the man who wanted to keep the water from flowing to Evans' land). However, I stayed to see if Evans would fall victim to the lusts of the world like all the other characters in the movie. I was pleasantly surprised to discover he kept to his morals and accomplished his goal in spite of the price he had to pay.I disagree with the reviewer about Evans' killing so he can get the water rights for his cattle. I believe in that day and age gun slinging was the norm and shooting was either in self defense or so one could do something evil, like Ben Wade and his crew killing to steal. I believe bounty hunters in that day and age had to kill or be killed to catch their bounty and for lawmen to maintain order. They didn't have all the laws and technology to catch outlaws back then the way they do now. Also, from the westerns I've seen and not having lived during that time, outlaws didn't have a problem with shooting people to avoid capture, so it seems a necessity for lawmen or bounty hunters to follow suit. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying killing is right, but when you're in a war and completely outnumbered and outgunned it's a matter of survival. I think we need to remember the context. They didn't have bulletproof vests, rubber bullets, or gas canisters to use against the outlaws. If the bounty hunters, lawmen, etcetera didn't use guns, they would've been killed themselves and there would've been no order.Not that I agree with Mangold's message, but his message may be that just because someone can quote the Bible, doesn't mean he's good or has a close personal relationship with God. Paul stated the same thing in Romans 3, among other books and chapters.Overall, the language wasn't that bad. (The movie “Bad Boys 2” was much, much worse). There were no sex scenes, though it's alluded to with one character doing a sketch of another, kind of like in “Titanic.” Also, I appreciated the authenticity of the sets and wardrobe.

So, after looking over all this - you can decide if seeing this is right for you. If you go - enjoy. If not, I totally understand.

Let me know if you've seen it what you thought and if you're not going to see it - why?!

Rating (out of 5)


Andrea said...

Hi! Thanks for the comments you've been leaving on my blog! I'll let you know if the Payperpost thing actually works for me! ;) I have a few friends who are doing it and they are getting paid, so I figured I'd had enough of my own skeptisim and decided to try it out for myself. :)

LoveMyStarr said...

I won't be seeing this one because it's rated R although I really do like Christian Bale.

After watching many a rated R movie as a teen and young adult, I learned that I needed to set a boundary for myself. Language, disturbing images, etc. have had a huge negative impact on me emotionally.

It's hard to explain but certain things just freak me out, and I usually don't know what until I watch it. Then it's too late. So, I try not to even go there. Even certain PG-13 movies I have to really research -- especially if it says disturbing images.

Thanks for the open, honest review.

Alida said...

I totally understand about setting boundaries and not viewing violent images...I'm also against censorship. (a contradiction of sorts, if you knew me, you'd get it.)

I think the beauty of being an adult is having the freedom and ability to choose what we watch, listen to or read. As parents we make those choices for our kids. That's it.

No school of thought or church or group is going to regulate that for me.

Anonymous said...

Well, I broke down and spent $20 to buy this movie. This is a first for me as I usually buy the $5 movies months after they have come out on dvd.

I was not disappointed with this movie. Sure it had violent scenes, but you have to consider the time frame and culture of that period. This was a norm.

As for Evans, I feel that his motivation for all that he did was to protect his ranch and gain esteem in the eyes of his son. He felt he was a loser, worthless and unable to secure a livelihood for his family. He put himself in impossible odds in his desperation to get Wade to the train. He told his son "Remember you father is the only one left who is willing to get Wade to the train."

Wade's redemption in the end did not surprise me. He had several chances to escape from Evans on the way to Yuma but did not. I think he felt his time had come and admired Evans for his tenacity. He hauled himself onto the train when he could have turned and run. His sense of right/wrong showed though when he shot Charlie. He had aligned himself with Evans and now Evans was dying. He had to avenge him.

I give this movie a high rating. I liked it. Of course, I grew up in the time of the "western". Movies were a regular on Saturday and every big star was featured in a western. I love the setting and the good vs evil plots. Good always wins! This is the only time in life (in a movie) when it does!

Jerri said...

I love this movie. It's action packed and funny! Yet more importantly I liked the example that was set by Dan. He was a hard working and honest man who was put in a difficult financial situation and was willing to do anything for his family. And even though he joined the "posse" for the money, in the end no money could buy his dignity and pride, and he was determined to set a good example for his son and teach him about the importance of honor and duty.

Anonymous said...

I loved the movie and used a quote from Alice Evans on my post about manners and how we need to use such sage advice from a movie character when we enter the big bad world.

It was very violent but then very few action movies can get by without violence these days!