The Western was once a simple morality tale. White hats fought it out against black hats, and good triumphed over evil.
Times change. Westerns have become studies in moral ambiguity, and the lawless frontier is now seen as a place where good men can loose their way and bad men find redemption. ‘3:10 To Yuma’ is a perfect example of this new trend.
This is as much a road movie as it is a Western, and like all great road movies it involves a journey that transforms the travellers in profound and unexpected ways. The process is fascinating to watch, and Bale and Crowe both put in brilliant performances. And yet, I found myself ultimately unconvinced. Somehow their transformation didn’t seem quite complete enough to make me believe either one would really do what they did in the end.
Still, that’s a relatively minor flaw in what is otherwise an outstanding film. I give it four out of five stars.
(and Murray liked it even more!)