It seems that Russell Crowe and Christian Bale have a good on-screen chemistry. Although they don’t play friends in the film, they learn to respect each other as Dan Evans (Bale) intends to make certain the waiting-to-be-hanged Ben Wade (Crowe) is on the 3:10 train to Yuma to face his judgment. Wade is that particular “type” who is not all bad. He actually has a code of morals of some sorts. He does, however, kill people when he deems it necessary.
The story is fast-paced and yet slows down long enough so as to concentrate a bit on character development. Bale and Crowe are both “on” in their respective roles. Bale’s role is similar to Gary Cooper’s stint as the sheriff in “High Noon”. He intends to see that justice prevails, or die trying in the attempt. One real complaint I have about this film is that it has a couple of utterances of the F word. This just wasn’t real likely to have been uttered by cowboys in the old west. The strong language, along with the graphic violence in some shoot-’em-up scenes, prevent us from awarding our Dove Seal to this film as a family-friendly movie. As does a character sleeping with a saloon girl.