Hot Take: Your standard genre movie. Slightly too good to be a TV movie yet not all that enthralling enough to warrant a theatrical release. Natalie Portman is good, the supporting cast is adequate and the story is OK. Jane misfires.
There was a time where Westerns ruled the cinema. Today, the Western is few and far between and it’s hard to count films like The Hateful Eight as a traditional Western (it’s hard to imagine John Wayne in a film as violent and crude as The Hateful Eight). For what it’s worth, Jane Got A Gun is awfully close to a classic Western in style. Unfortunately, despite it’s nostalgic feel, some of the film feels as if it lacks direction and while the film’s title indirectly promises a strong female character, Natalie Portman’s Jane ends up not living up to the billing.
Jane Got A Gun isn’t terrible to the point where it won’t make your eyes roll but it probably won’t have you putting your hands together either. It’s actually a rather forgettable watch and if you see it in theaters, when you happen upon it at 3 am on TNT, you’ll probably watch 10 minutes of it before you realize you actually saw it.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Joel Edgerton
As Dan Frost, Edgerton rides in with a solid performance. The movie could have easily been written with Frost as the lead character and, at times, feels like it may have, at one point, been written that way.
The Western genre of film at one point thrived and later felt as if it were an endangered species. A film like Jane Got A Gun, in all it’s mediocrity, proves there’s still some interest in producing even average films in this genre.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Natalie Portman
This will not go down as one of Portman’s strongest performances. There’s a “going through the motions” feeling while watching the movie. It might not be her fault as it is never clear if Jane is supposed to be a bad ass (dressed in all black and ready to defend her home as she yanks slugs out of her dying husband) or damsel in distress (riding off to ask her former fiancé to help protect her and her home).
- Ewan McGregor
Again, it’s probably not McGregor’s fault but I think we need a little more than every character wincing at the mention of your name and having a mustache you could twirl if you really wanted to look tough.
- Slower Than Molasses
Somehow, 98 minutes feels like 2+ hours.