'Jane Got A Gun' concerns the titular Jane (Natalie Portman), who lives a seemingly peaceful life on a secluded ranch watching over her daughter until her husband appears on the horizon, barely alive and with an ominous message of trouble coming their way. It seems their past is catching up to them and Jane ventures out in search of help, ﬁrst begging the help of Dan (Joel Edgerton), a boozed up rancher with a thousand yard stare who somewhat aggressively tells her to get on her horse and go back to her no good husband.
The crux of the ﬁlm is the puzzling together of the characters history, which is engaging all the way to the end and moves at a steady enough pace to never get boring whilst still ﬂowing organically without the sudden feeling of mountains of information being dropped on our heads. All our heroes are deeply ﬂawed, world weary people and we sympathise with them quite easily, or at the very least we want all the same people dead as they do.
I’d say the ﬁlm is good, not great, as a whole though you should be aware that the story is pretty bleak. There’s not a lot of humour to be found here, our heroes barely seem to like each other and don’t seem too conﬁdent they’re going to survive the villainy that’s coming for them. This isn’t a problem though, the characters are more than interesting enough to hold your attention and the story is strong and well crafted, but beware that this isn’t a ﬁlm for happy go lucky types.
In criticism the ﬁnal gunﬁght that the ﬁlm has so clearly been building up to from the start is a tad underwhelming if I’m being honest, but by then you’re so enthralled with the characters it doesn’t really matter. And perhaps refreshingly it has a very realistic feel, the action isn’t ludicrously over the top and our characters aren’t overblown caricatures, though Ewan McGregor comes close as the villainous John Bishop but that’s probably only because he doesn’t receive enough screen time to become all that well rounded. So although the ﬁlm unfortunately falls apart towards the end I was drawn into the story easily and I can recommend 'Jane Got A Gun' if you’re looking for a deep character piece with a western setting because you’ll certainly ﬁnd that here.
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