3:10 to Yuma “is a tense, rugged redo of a film that was pretty good the first time around,” writes Variety‘s Todd McCarthy in an 8.16 posting. “Reinforced by a strong central premise, alert performances, a realistic view of the developing Old West and a satisfying dimensionality in its shadings of good and evil, James Mangold‘s remake walks a fine line in retaining many of the original’s qualities while smartly shaking things up a bit.
“A Western these days needs to be more than a solid, unfussy programmer to break out of the pack commercially, but this Lionsgate release should be able to generate moderately good theatrical returns prior to a solid home entertainment life, where casual viewer curiosity will be well rewarded.”
So Mangold has kept the solid cool stuff from the 1957 version and pizazzed it up in a smart and engaging way for today’s audiences…cool. McCarthy’s is a thumbs-up review, but the terms “pretty good” and “moderately good” in the first graph don’t exactly convey cartwheeling enthusiasm. I’m reminded of that old Dean Martin joke in which he said he’s cut back on the carousing and only drinks moderately — “I have a case of Moderately in the trunk of my car.”