VOD film review: 3:10 to Yuma
Ivan Radford | On 25, May 2013Reading time: 2 mins
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Peter Fonda, Alan Tudyk
Watch 3:10 to Yuma online in the UK: STARZPLAY / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Google Play
They seek him here, they seek him there, and he appears when least expected. He changes his form with apparent ease, and his disguise is always perfected. A robot, a doctor, a TV boss, he can even fly a spaceship. A pirate who dodges, perhaps a knight, it’s the wonder that is Alan Tudyk.
Today, Alan is Doc Potter. He is healing Peter Fonda. Peter Fonda got shot by Russell Crowe. Not another off-set brawl for the Oscar-winning Aussie, but a chance for him to play the bad guy, outlaw Ben Wade. When Ben is arrested, the law dictates that he must be put onboard the 3.10 to Yuma, the titular train that takes criminals to the gallows.
Escorted by 5 men, it looks unlikely that Wade’s posse can break him free, especially when Civil War veteran Dan Evans (Bale) joins the group. A discontented rancher determined to pay off his crippling debts, not even an injured leg can deter Dan from doing his duty. For him the equation is simple: catch the train, get the money, and win back the respect of his son, William (Lerman).
Based upon an Elmore Leonard short story, 3:10 to Yuma is a remake of a 1957 Western. Replacing Glenn Ford with Russell, Wade’s dark outfit constantly reminds us that Ben Wade is not a nice man. Juxtaposing Russell’s relaxed swagger is Christian Bale’s intense antagonist. From him a glare alone suffices, as even the good guy emits anger from his very pores. Together they dwarf the rest of the cast (including the excellent Tudyk), shooting witty remarks at each other until the time comes to draw their weapons.
Events gallop along, the script introducing action sequences to keep the pace at a canter. James Mangold (Walk the Line) commands the cameras, framing the vastness of the Wild West with some panache; it may be a different man in black, but Mangold still manages to cast Wade’s rough edges in a likeable light. The end result is a sense of old-fashioned fun that prevails throughout. Even at the film’s convenient conclusion, its energetic playfulness carries us with it, as a simple whistle sends the hero off into the sunset.
3:10 to Yuma is available to watch online on STARZPLAY, as part of a £4.99 monthly subscription – in addition to an Amazon Prime membership or Virgin TV package.