Jane Got a Gun
Jane Got a Gun seemingly comes out of nowhere as a dark western drama starring Natalie Portman (Thor, Black Swan, Anywhere but Here) and Joel Edgerton (The Gift, The Great Gatsby *2013, Warrior). I saw this movie over the weekend and I gotta say…what a shame it is that we don’t get cinema like this anymore.
Jane Got a Gun starts off with Portman as Jane Hammond telling her daughter a bedtime story using brilliant imagery of shadow puppets. The next morning her husband Bill Hammond played by Noah Emmerich (Little Children, Super 8, The Truman Show) shows up filled with bullets and a warning that The Bishop Boys are on their way for revenge. Jane quickly does the best she can to doctor up Bill then takes her daughter to her friend’s house, then she goes to see Dan Frost played by Edgerton. She begs for his help which at first he refuses, but with the past that they share grudgingly he ends up helping Jane after all. They stock up with enough firearms to start a small war and completely boobie-trap Jane’s house and then they wait for the gang of outlaws, more importantly, their leader Colin McCann; Ewan McGregor (Perfect Sense, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Amelia), to come.
With this film, we have the main plot and a series of back-stories. All the main characters have a flashback moment which leads to why they’ve come to this major showdown. Each transition from the present to the past is done in a spectacular way, giving this movie some great edit quality. The story is a sentimental and heartbreaking one that we come to learn in through the flashbacks between Jane and Dan and the reason for his hostility toward her. Every character here has a shadowed haunted look which does well for the movie’s vibe. Looking at the snippets of happy moments between Dan and Jane and looking at what their lives have been reduced to now gives you a great feel for the characters which comes in handy toward the big fight at the finish. Because you really just want these characters to get that happiness back. Jane Got a Gun does a great job of keeping your attention because you want to find out the reason for the bad blood between the two parties which isn’t revealed to very end. Mainly a drama it doesn’t really pick up momentum till the ending, throughout most of the movie it’s at the same steady pace but it never slows to a bore.
Rated R for violence and some language.
Rotten Tomatoes has the newest Western at a 33% rotten! I could not disagree more with those numbers!
I absolutely loved this film, the only thing I didn’t like was the title. Sounds like a violent toddler came up with it. This movie seems so out-of-place in today’s world of cinema because Jane Got a Gun doesn’t try to be flashy, it doesn’t have fancy gun work and train jumps and crazy horse chases none of that. If you’re looking for something with a little more bang for your buck I’d say go elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a great story with capturing visuals and a fantastic cast, look no further. You found it!