Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) and her husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) lead a peaceful life after escaping from the clutches of the brutal Bishop Boys gang, led by John Bishop (Ewan McGregor). Their lives are shattered when Bill returns home riddled with bullets after a duel with the gang and the promise that John is coming to finish the job. With no one to turn to, Jane enlists the help of her ex-lover Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) to help defend Bill and their home.
The story behind the production of Jane Got a Gun involves behind-the-scenes turmoil, shifting release dates and production company bankruptcy. And that well documented story is infinitely more interesting than everything that takes place over the Film’s brisk 98-minute running time. It moves quickly, but the plot is not compelling and its majority of characters are lifeless and dull. Edgerton plays the heroic cowboy archetype well and McGregor seems to be the only one having any fun with his deliberately over-the-top villain. Director Gavin O’Connor (of Warrior and Miracle) employs flashbacks to help fill in the backgrounds for everyone, but they succeed more in slowing the Film down than they do developing the characters.
If I can genuinely credit anything in Jane Got a Gun, it’s the exquisite set design and cinematography. The Film looks gorgeous at all times, evoking the look and feel of classic Western epics. You can practically taste the dirt and grime coming off the lens. I just wish the Film around it could have been nearly as well done.
VVS Films release JANE GOT A GUN on Digital HD now and on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD Tuesday, May 31, 2016.
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