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3:10 to Yuma

By BRETT MICHEL  |  September 5, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
3:10 TO YUMA Russell Crowe is great in James Mangold’s bloated epic.

Claustrophobia. In director Delmer Daves’s 1957 Wild West battle of wills, it seeped like a cancer into his modestly expanded take on Elmore Leonard’s short two-hander set within the confined time and space of a hotel room. As a lawman awaits a train that will transport his prisoner (slyly played by Glenn Ford) out of Contention, Arizona, the murderer’s gang converges. It was small and tense, its ending saturated in shades of gray. James (Walk the Line) Mangold’s remake, however, is mostly black and white, a bloated miscalculation with epic pretensions. Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is no longer a marshal but a simple rancher desperate to save his faltering farm. He’s a failure in the eyes of his wife (Gretchen Mol) and son (Logan Lerman), but redemption awaits if he can deposit captured outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) on the 3:10 train to Yuma Prison. Bale and Crowe are superlative, but Mangold’s rote, banal expansion never quickens the pulse.
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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL