Film Review: Jane Got a Gun

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Married to a criminal and living in the middle of nowhere, Jane has very few friends she can turn to for help when a gang tracks down her husband with murderous intent.

It’s not just her husband this gang are after but Jane also. Jane has a complicated past: an engagement that never became a marriage, a lost child and love found in unexpected places.

There is one person who might help her. Jane must convince her ex-lover to save her husband.

The sun doesn’t shine on only one person’s story. And this time, it’s Jane’s turn to be heard.

Film: Jane Got a Gun

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Date: 2016

Rating: 3/5

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I decided to watch Jane Got a Gun for one simple reason: the cast. Maybe two reasons – Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman was an irresistible combination. I’m glad I didn’t want to watch it for the gripping plot or the western themes or the tension.

These things were certainly all lacking!

The plot starts with Jane’s husband – a wanted criminal – returning injured, claiming that the Bishop boys are after him. Jane has only one person to turn to: her ex-lover. But even when Dan agrees to help, things are not what they seem. Through a series of flash-backs, both Jane and Dan get to tell their tale, and fill in the blanks for each other.

Then there is the matter of a gang coming for them, being helplessly outnumbered and resulting in, of course, a massive shoot-out.

For a short film, it was slow going. I felt like I was waiting for something to happen. Even with the inevitable shooting began, there was nothing personal about it. It was effects, not emotion. That doesn’t make for the most entertaining watching.

The final confrontation was also disappointing – although answers were granted, it just lacked…something. The actors performed well – both Joel Edgerton and Natalie Portman gave depth to their characters – but the script lacked the chance for them to really show emotion.

Despite having wanted to watch the film because of Ewan McGregor, I nearly missed him! His accent was good and with dark hair – plus being the bad guy – I almost didn’t notice who was playing John Bishop. One laugh later and I suddenly realised who he was. Again, though, I felt the character could have been so much more.

There were moments of tension. When a sharp crack startles both characters into thinking the gang has arrived, they were not the only ones holding their breath. But this scene was the climax of the tension, and I felt nothing of the sort when the real battle commenced.

There was a shoot-out. There was a large desert. There were horses, there were guns, and there were strong western accents. Does that make this film a true western? Definitely not. It lacked the western hero, for one thing!

It wasn’t a bad film and parts of me enjoyed it. But, for me, Jane Got a Gun lacked any real drive.

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