Jane Got a Gun

"Good"

Jane Got a Gun Review


With its grindingly low-key tension and unusual perspectives, this Western has a chance to revamp the genre in intriguing ways. The first-rate cast adds plenty of depth to the usual roles, including a strong female point-of-view from Natalie Portman, who also produced the film. But some rather simplistic thematic touches undermine the originality, and the film never quite cracks through the surface to become something meaningful.

It's set in 1871 New Mexico, where Jane (Portman) lives on a hidden ranch with her outlaw husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) and their young daughter. But Bill's been badly injured, and the notorious scoundrel Bishop (Ewan McGregor) has vowed to track him down. For help Jane turns to her ex-fiance Dan (Joel Edgerton), an angry gunslinger who has never got over being abandoned by Jane all those years ago. He agrees to help her, and of course Bill isn't too happy about this, but he's too injured to protest. And Jane is so fiercely independent that she refuses to let her history with these two men define her future.

The premise is packed with all kinds of intriguing layers, but the script continually over-explains everything with a series of flashbacks to Jane's earlier encounters with Dan, Bishop, Bishop's hotheaded brother (Boyd Holbrook) and a particularly brutal desperado (Rodrigo Santoro). Not one of these people has even a hint of morality about them, which gives the actors a chance to inject a lot of complex texture into their performances. These are tough-minded men who never stop to think about the rule of law. And Portman's Jane is steelier than all of them, a woman who makes her own hard decisions in a place that doesn't let anyone off easily. Portman is terrific in the role, even if director Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) undermines her with his rather straightforward approach. Even so, her scenes with Edgerton and McGregor crackle with subtext.

This film had well-reported problems in its production history, including a last-minute swap of director and actors. And sometimes that can be seen in the way what clearly should have been a darkly inventive female-led Western drama has been told as a more standard shoot-em-up thriller. And the big action climax feels underwhelming, since it happens at night when it's difficult to see what's happening. Even so, the film is worth a look for the way the skilled actors invest sparky personality into their characters and interaction. And more importantly for the fact that this is a story about a strong woman in an unforgiving man's world.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Jane Got A Gun:



Jane Got a Gun

Facts and Figures

Genre: Western

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th January 2016

Box Office Worldwide: $1.4M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Relativity Media

Production compaines: Handsomecharlie Films, Unanimous Pictures, Straight Up Films, 1821 Pictures, Scott Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 35%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Aleen Keshishian, Mary Regency Boies, Zack Schiller, , Scott LaStaiti, Terry Dougas

Starring: as Jane Hammond, as Dan Frost, as Fitchum, as Colin McCann, as Bill Hammond, Alex Manette as Buck, as Vic, Todd Stashwick as O'Dowd, James Burnett as Cunny Charlie, Sam Quinn as Slow Jeremiah, River Shields as Kid, Chad Brummett as Theodore, Boots Southerland as Marshal, as Fur Trader, Robb Janov as Fiddler

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.