Monday, February 25, 2008

Week 37: 3:10 to Yuma

Well now, I finally know how the Brits feel when Gwyneth Paltrow and Squinty Zellwegger hop across the pond and steal all their plumb roles. Not great. You don’t loathe them for trying to play your countrymen, but there is something that rings false about it. Just like the two very capable leads of 3:10 to Yuma, Christian Bale playing the rancher Dan Evans and Russell Crowe playing the outlaw Ben Wade.

They’re both fine actors but something ruffled me about seeing a Brit and an Aussie playing Wild West gunslingers. I don’t think of myself as terribly patriotic but I guess I hold the western epic a little closer to my heart than I’d believed. This should be American filmmaking at its best. So every time Russell Crowe slipped a little into his Aussie drawl, I cringed. I really loved this movie, but I think I would have loved it a little more if say, the two leads had been played by Chris Cooper and Edward Norton.

To be fair though, I do go into every movie with a predisposition against Russell Crowe and his over-hyped acting abilities. Every time I see him on screen I feel like he just oozes smug self-satisfaction, like I can read his internal monologue:

“I’m acting this so good. I dunno why these other actors bothered to show up because let’s be honest, I’m pretty much the shit. Look at me right now, I’m pensive. Now I’m angry. Here comes sensitive. Bam. I killed that. I am a master of my CRAFT. They should call this Crowing, not Acting.”

Can’t you just picture him thinking that? C’mon. You know he does. My Crowe distaste aside, don’t let me dissuade you from watching this movie. It’s a terrific film. If you love a great Western and have been longing for something to fill the void left by the masterpiece, Unforgiven, 3:10 to Yuma might fit the bill. It's not the most original or unexpected plot you'll ever encounter, but it still makes for great entertainment. The action is tight, the characters are vivid and most importantly to an outlaw epic, the bad guys are oh-so-bad. This was a great edge-of-your-seat gun-slinging pleasure. Giddyup.


Megan said...

Dear Motely Queue,

Did you watch the Oscars? What did you think?

Motley Queue said...

Yes! I have been planning on putting a post up this week about it but am running late...kid home with pink eye and husband out of town equals one frazzled blogger. I will get it up today though!