3:10 to yuma
I was moderately excited about seeing this movie. I like a good western, and given the rave reviews, I was expecting a nice little treat. Ah expectations.
Not that this movie is bad by any stretch. It might even be decent to good. But not great it really adds little to the genre, and I wonder what it might have even added to the original. Perhaps Deadwood has ruined me, but 3:10 also has little on Unforgiven. Even Kevin Costner's Open Range was more interesting storywise, and beautifully shot to boot.
Ultimately, its casting Crowe as Ben Wade (oddly the credits, show Ben Wade in place of Russell Crowe when listing drivers and such, as if he was so deep into method acting he forgot who he was) which I think robbed the movie of promise. Not that Crowe is a bad actor to watch, but unlike Bale, his characters' character rarely differs that much. Crowe's just too darn likeable as a person. And we know from the get go that Ben Wade the character is good at heart -- because he's a sketch artist, and the woman he seduces in the bar was clearly treated right. He brutally kills several men, but they are men who we are set up to dislike, who in some measure deserved it. If you don't know how he will act in the end, then I'm not sure you were watching the movie. In other words, he was no Al Swearengen.
It needed a touch more darkness to it to make it a more than just a rehashed Western.