Jane Got A Gun


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Jane Got A Gun
"Westerns require action and pace not brooding silences and broken dreams"

As well as a gun she has a dying husband, an alcoholic ex lover, a posse of killers on her trail and a plot that provides less sustenance than a dry riverbed.

Intensity hangs in the air like the black shadow of an impending hurricane. Sooner, in this case later, the attack will occur, not from rain, not from tempest, but from avenging outlaws.

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Jane is a woman in a man's world - New Mexico, 1871. She lives way out on the edge of nowhere with a bandit for a husband (Noah Emmerich) and a daughter for company. He saved her from life in the whorehouse while running with a gang, headed by the surprisingly mild mannered John Bishop (Ewan McGregor, unrecognisable with neat black beard and tash) before initiating a bordello bloodbath and escaping with Jane into the big country.

One afternoon he returns to the cabin riddled with bullets. The Bishop gang is coming, he gasps. Jane leaves their daughter with a family in a far off homestead and goes in search of Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton), who used to be her man before she thought he had died in the Mexican wars.

Together they await the arrival of Bishop's mob, build booby traps and have romantic flashbacks to ease the boredom. Jane has shooting practice round the back but still can't hit a barn door at 20 paces which means the title has to be ironic.

Pretty shots of riders at sunset mixed with ugly shots of violence and death prepare the audience for the inevitable gunfight at the not-OK corral which is predictable yet forgivable since finally something is happening.

Westerns require action and pace not brooding silences and broken dreams.

Natalie Portman looks great as always but is less than convincing as plain Jane, the cowboy's hausfrau. Edgerton is closer to the earth, angry, dusty, inarticulate and short tempered. He doesn't need to look like James Stewart, nor talk like Gregory Peck. He needs to stay alive and kill the bastards.

It's that simple.

Reviewed on: 14 Apr 2016
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Jane Got A Gun packshot
A woman asks her ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him.
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Director: Gavin O'Connor

Writer: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, Joel Edgerton

Starring: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro, Noah Emmerich, Boyd Holbrook, Alex Manette, Todd Stashwick, James Burnett, Sam Quinn, Chad Brummett, Boots Southerland, Nash Edgerton, Robb Janov, James Blackburn

Year: 2016

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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