TIME WAITS FOR ONE MAN.
When outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) is captured, destitute rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is paid to join the group of men who will bring him to a train bound for Yuma prison. Director James Mangold’s remake of the 1957 western classic doesn’t really do anything original that warrants a new version, but is nevertheless very well made. Crowe is excellent as the type of movie criminal one can’t help but respect even though he’s a ruthless killer; Bale matches him as the war veteran who ends up proving himself to his son. Marco Beltrami’s score sets the mood for this classically produced (but bloody and a tad overlong) Western, nicely shot in New Mexico.
2007-U.S. 117 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Cathy Konrad. Directed by James Mangold. Screenplay: Halsted Welles, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas. Music: Marco Beltrami. Cast: Russell Crowe (Ben Wade), Christian Bale (Dan Evans), Peter Fonda (Byron McElroy), Ben Foster, Gretchen Mol, Alan Tudyk… Logan Lerman, Luke Wilson.
Trivia: At one point, Tom Cruise and Eric Bana were allegedly considered for the leads.
Last word: “I think that one of the things the Western gave us an opportunity to do, and I don’t think it’s particularly obtuse, to explore a lot of issues today in the context of the post Civil War period in America and allow you to see them allegorically instead of directly. And it makes the film less preachy. It makes the film less of a kind of political didactic experience and much more of a film where you experience, wow I didn’t know that voluntary militia men were drawn into the Civil War even if they didn’t want to be. And even just exploring, I would always joke with Peter Fonda that he was kind of playing Dick Cheney, that the kind of use of God to justify violence on both sides. ” (Mangold, Coming Soon)