October 2nd, 2007


3:10 to Yuma (take 2)

The original 3:10 to Yuma with Glenn Ford and Van Heflin has always been one of my favourite films, so I was a bit dubious about seeing the recent remake. The two extremes I was worried about were that it would be so bad that it would cause wincing flashbacks when I saw the original again, or so good that one of my nostalgic favourites would be eclipsed.

Luckily I found it a good film in its own right and different enough that it stands on its own. The 1957 film was in black and white, and fifty years later the new film is, of course, in colour which makes a good metaphor for the difference between them. Black and white has the style of a sketch, a monochrome representation which asks you to fill in the details. Colour gives you all the shades and nuances, and keeps the eye entertained.

There is a wealth of detail in the latest version, both in the settings and the characters. Russell Crowe is excellent as an intelligent villain, well matched by Christian Bale's stubborn hero. They are the centre of the story, but the supporting actors have their own stories in how they interact with the main duo. I didn't quite believe the bonding between the duo in this version of the film, it didn't seem to gel quite so well as the first film, and I found the ending unexpected, but it suited this telling.