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More on "3:10 to Yuma"

By admin Published: September 7, 2007

You can find my review of the Russell Crowe western here. It's not a hugely enthusiastic review, and I think I've figured out why.

Yuma photo

It's not just that the movie is merely OK. It's that it kept hinting at the possiblity that it could be something more extravagant. I am thinking of Ben Foster's performance, which would have fit more readily into "Tombstone" than "Yuma," and of the way Peter Fonda leaves the movie. ...

I'm also thinking of something Roger Ebert wrote in his review of "Shoot 'Em Up." "I may disapprove of a movie for going too far," he said, "and yet have a sneaky regard for a movie that goes much, much further than merely too far." I think that's why I like something like "Face/Off," which I've been re-examining thanks to a new DVD release. Or, more to the point, why I prefer "Tombstone" to "Yuma." (I also prefer "Unforgiven" to both of them, but "Unforgiven" is a magnificent film on a level far above either of the movies I'm talking about here.) "Tombstone" has no sense of what's too far -- whether in Val Kilmer's performance, or its operatic sense of drama, or the look on Kurt Russell's face when he says, "Tell 'em I'm comin'. And hell's coming with me." Or the scene cited here:


As good as "Yuma" is at times, the plot and its resolution call for something far crazier than the movie in all its seriousness will allow.

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