Watched this film with so many great expectations – very few were met. The film started out as a standard tale of heartless monster outlaws and lawful upstanding men that vow to bring one of them, Wade (played by Russel Crowe), to justice. But it rapidly derailed into a politically correct farcical piece that ended most senselessly with the outlaw trying to uplift the honest man, decimating his own gang and voluntarily boarding a train to Yuma prison. What is wrong with that, you ask? Maybe he was ready to do penance for his sins, but the makers were not happy to even throw us that bone – they showed him whistling for his horse and the animal running alongside the train in an implied escape.
Along the way the Pinkerton man was shown to be a Bible thumper who killed three year old Apache children, while the outlaw had so much appeal for the women, and could charm children too. There were no moments of real tension in the film, no character that pulled me in, the situations were extremely contrived and the last 30 minutes were cobbled together in a laughable manner. Mr. Crowe was his usual suave lady-killer self – no matter if he was supposed to be an outlaw. Mr. Bale was more in character and did do a fine job, but could not salvage the film. Top 250? This one is eminently forgettable. To get the dubious taste of this travesty out of my mouth I will have to watch the modern day Western masterpiece Unforgiven yet again.