Saturday, November 1, 2008


This is one of the few good westerns to make its way to the big screen in a quite a while. 3:10 to Yuma was not a particularly well made movie because it did not make any sense. Russel Crowe's character was killing people on the way to his hanging and his buddies were causing mayhem to free him on his travels to the train in Yuma. The men in charge of escorting this violent individual should have just shot him out in the open after realizing what dangerous and deadly mission they had on delivering someone who was set to die any how. Crowe's character may have been a little over done though, he was made to be superhuman with a gun, and how he killed those Indians was just too surreal for me, sneaking up on them from behind was too make believe.

Viggo Mortensen is teamed up again with Ed Harris after playing in the movie A History of Violence a couple of years ago. They make a good pair in this western. Jeremy Irons is the villian in this one, he performed outstanding over 10 years ago in the mega movie Die Hard III, With a Vengeance. Interesting seeing him in this movie, a western, as a killer living off of his relative's protection who just happens to be the president of the US, Chester A. Arthur.

It is good to see Lance Henriksen is still alive. Have not seen him since he made foolish decisions in the movie Aliens verse Predator several years ago. He appeared me advanced in age in that movie, that was in 2004 if I recall correctly.

Renée Zellweger is the love interest of Ed Harris's character throughout the movie. She is troublesome and takes advantage of Ed Harris in this movie. She also tries to come in between and destroy the long time friendship of Viggo and Ed, she should have been punished for this. She was punished psychologically when Ed Harris disregards her nasty ploy and her word and defends Viggo. Ed Harris seemed to be OK with taking violence on men but seems to give this woman chance after chance.

Ed and Viggo are peace makers and come across this small town in Arizona which is the title of this movie. The local politicians hire Ed and Viggo to enforce the town's laws since Ed and Viggo want this to be legal. The problem is that Jeremy Irons's character is killer and brute who is living off the town like a leach does another animal. Irons employs and attracts some violent killers and companions. Irons kills a sherriff and two of his deputies at the outset of this film.

When ranch hand steps forward as a material witness in this killing, Ed and Viggo are dutifully impressed. Iron's character is convicted and sentenced to hang. One of two flaws in this movie is about to occur, the other regarding Ed's pass on Zellwegers characterss indiscretions has already been mentioned. Irons plays Randall Bragg and while Bragg is being escorted via train to be hung with Viggo and Ed, and two other sherriffs from another area, they stop the train to seemingly get some fresh air. By this point, Ed and Zellweger were already an item. Why Ed does not think she would be vulnerable at this point is beyond me. Then he does the dumbest thing to me is just unforgiveable and put a slight black mark on this movie. Up to this point, the movie was flawless. Two of Bragg's men, one being Henriksen, hold Zellweger hostage underneath a bridge the train stops over. These two men are out gunned and have the lower ground. Four rifles are pointed at them and Harris's character submits to their demands. Which is not even a trade for Bragg for Zellweger, they have to hand over Bragg and then leave on the train and Bragg's men say then they will let her go. Ridiculous. Both of these men could have been shot before they harmed her. And it was not even Harris's character Virgil Cole's call, he was outside his jurisdiction. Pathetic.

The movie had some funny lines, it was well written, and Cole and Viggo's character get along just dandy, sharing their feelings and thoughts as their character's are developed. The town officials are as wimpy as ever, similiar to the mercurial standards and sides of the officials in the movie Tombstone. But Tombstone devastates this movie, Appaloosa does not approach Tombstone in stamina, action, characters, and even music. Appaloosa was pretty good though, Ed and Viggo are some of the best actors of this day and the villian played by the outstanding Irons is totally recognizable and charismatic. Iron's character should have obeyed the bylaws posted up by Cole and everything would have been just tranquil. But then we would have had a movie absent of drama and forgettable.

I allocate this movie three stars out of five. ***

No comments: