“I ain’t never been no hero, Wade. The only battle I seen, we was in retreat. My foot got shot off by one of my own men. You try telling that story to your boy. See how he he looks at you then. ” – Dan Evans
Number of Times Seen – 2 (20 Oct 2007 and 13 Oct 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A rancher in debt volunteers to help escort a dangerous prisoner to jail in order to help support his family.
My Take on it – This is one of the few exceptions to the rule that remakes are usually not as good as the original.
This version successfully takes the premise of the original, expands on it a bit and still keeps its own unique identity along the way.
The added nuances to the story, characters and plot all work well to give us a fuller picture of what transpires in the storyline.
At the same time, it still holds on to much of the original dialogue and situations which keeps the tension and plot flowing well.
One of the factors that made the original work so well was the choice of the very charismatic actors of Van Heflin and Glenn Ford in the two lead roles.
The choice of having Christian Bale and Russel Crowe take over those roles was quite smart because they both also have very strong charismatic presence onscreen.
The original idea was to have Tom Cruise play Crowe’s role and Eric Bana in Bale’s, but I dont think it would have worked so well.
Bottom Line – Great remake that successfully expands the scope of the original while keeping to the points that make it such a great and thrilling western. Very good choice of lead actors that match the leads from the original. Highly recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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