Jane Got a Gun Review

 

Jane Got a Gun is a 2016 action western film directed by Gavin O’Connor and the film stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich, Rodrigo Santoro, Boyd Holbrook, and Ewan McGregor. With help from her boozing ex-lover (Joel Edgerton), a woman (Natalie Portman) tries to defend her injured husband (Noah Emmerich) from a vengeful outlaw (Ewan McGregor) and his gang of killers in the Old West.


Positives:

  • Good performances by the cast
  • Great lead characters
  • Good story
  • Good use of practical effects
  • Decent score

Negatives:

  • Very slow build up
  • Ending feels rushed

Plot: Although not really original the plot does show a surprising amount of depth, especially when it comes to the backstories of all the characters and how they intermingle. What starts off ass a typical western does evolve into a tense home  invasion. The story is a slow build that gradually reveals past events that have led up to the main story.  The film tells this exposition through the Jane and Dan’s memories which help to make the connection between the two and how their relationship started rekindling. The first half does a decent job of taking the time to establish the characters but at the same time it is a slow build.  The ending is satisfying but does feel a bit rushed and if climax was extended a bit, it could’ve given more of an emotional impact. (3 out of 5)

Characters: Jane (Portman) is a really strong female lead.  She has qualities that make her strong while at the same time vulnerable.  There is also a haunted look to the character. Portman is a good cast for the character. Dan (Edgerton) is a likable character; he’s tough, he’s cool, and he also shows a lot of heart.  There is this connection between the two characters, especially with the past that they share. Ham (Emmerich) is revealed to be a surprisingly deep character despite his lack of interactions.   McGregor does a good job as John Bishop, giving the character a sophisticated yet dangerous feel. However, the lack of exposition of the character does make him feel flat. (3 out of 5)

Cast: Great performances by the main and supporting cast.  The cast includes Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich, Rodrigo Santoro, Boyd Holbrook, and Ewan McGregor. (3 out of 5)

Visuals: The costume designs are phenomenal and have a very authentic look, despite the clothes there is a gritty look.  The set pieces are great and the film actually feels like a western.  There is a good use of gore that isn’t over-the-top but still used effectively. The action sequences are pretty intense. (4 out of 5)

Score: The music isn’t memorable but it is done pretty well. Lisa Gerrard and Marcello De Francisci do a good enough job to give the movie a little spice.  (3 out of 5)

Writing: This is a really good film and what attributes to it are mainly the characters and this story that binds them.  A possible point to add is that the film probably could’ve been more engaging had there been more exposition on the what the Bishop brothers were doing during their manhunt, you know, show more on the antagonists side of the story.  The climax could’ve been extended a bit because although it is a dire situation for Jane and Dan it doesn’t feel dire enough.  It doesn’t feel like they’re in an impossible situation which did take away from the tension. (2 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Jane Got a Gun is a decent film.  Despite the slow build of the story and a slightly rushed ending, the film does have great performances, good characters, a good story, and an authentic feel.  This film is a definite recommend for fans of a good western with a good story rather than over-the-top cowboy action. Jane Got a Gun gets 3 out of 5.

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