3:10 to Yuma (2007)

“3:10 to Yuma” (2007)



(not) subverting, and a pair

What an interesting and effective film.

This is a remake of a western originally made before Leone laughed with at the western genre. But this film is made in 2007, 43 years after that injection of irony and subversion of the genre took place. This film takes itself seriously, or at least, picks the key elements of the genre before Leone twisted them, and assumes them in the Ford vision. I think that’s a dangerous approach, because the audiences, in the meanwhile, updated their old conceptions to what Leone proposed (to me, born in the 80′, ‘classic’ are the Leone films, the others are ‘old’). But the overcome is successful.

So, we have extreme characters populating the whole thing. Crowe is ambiguous, so intelligently mean that we like him, so he grows on us as Bale’s character grows on him. The men are in the game for clear reasons. Bale for self transcendence (to grow on his sun), Crowes uses a mask of meanness as a revenge for child rejection (the Bible as an expiatory element), Bale’s son as a form of self-imposition. Reaching one’s goals as a cross through the desert. Honour is a key element, dying for it is worthy and admirable. That’s something Leone mocked at. But than, we have visual sequences which owe more to Leone than to anything before him, and more to recent action films than to old Ford or Hawks’ westerns gunfight. So, this is a miscellaneous, a real product of this time, when genres are all subverted, and even trying to make a genre film totally in the line of old notions is a subversion in itself.

Why this one is so watchable, and effective, is for Bale/Crowe. They both are intelligent actors, Bale more flexible and someone who adapts to what it takes, Crowe a more internal, meditative and imposing figure. So, they are as actors the mirrors of what they’re characters are. And that’s something really well done. The narrative arcs are classic, but so well built…

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb


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