New To Blu: Jane Got A Gun

This week sees the troubled Jane Got A Gun released on blu ray. Padme, Obi-Wan and Owen Lars star.

In the last couple years, the Western has made a definitive comeback. That's not to say it ever went fully away. But, we've seen numerous releases come out that were near the quality of the films we used to get decades ago. With great movies like The Hateful Eight, Bone Tomahawk, and Diablo returning the genre to form, audiences were also given another film called Jane Got A Gun. The movie was an absolute disappointment at the box office, never coming close to recouping any of its budget. With high dollar actors signed on for this feature, it was one of the biggest failures of 2016. Costing nearly 27 million dollars, it only grossed just over 1.5 million in ticket revenue. 

Due to time constraints during production that were caused by all kinds of onset problems, this is not the movie it should have been but it's not all that bad either. After the original director bailed on the movie and support actors left the troublesome set, things were notoriously shifted and Natalie Portman's Jane Got A Gun actually turned out better than we could have ever expected. Weaving carefully through a romanticized story we've seen recreated time and time again, this jilted movie has just enough chemistry and gunfights to keep it interesting for ninety minutes. 

jane got her gun
Take me to your nearest lava planet and give me back my twins, you bastard!

This is no Unforgiven and it's not a generational reinvention of the format either. It's a solid entry that allows Portman, Edgerton, and Emmerich to play cowboys with guns for a while.

If you're looking for a nonstop shoot 'em up type of period piece, you're not going to get it here. This is a finely textured character arc that lies in the hands of a capable squad of lead actors. With Natalie Portman taking on the powerful yet very feminine lead role of Jane Hammond and Joel Edgerton finally getting to chew some dramatic fat as the lovelorn Dan Frost, Jane Got A Gun is a moody bit of old school, slow moving Western goodness that's strangely fragmented in its storytelling style. However, once it kicks off, the action scenes are well worth the wait. With an explosive finale and Ewan McGregor finally proving his worth as a blood thirsty evil instigator, this tale of Western woe calls back to a time when movies took their sweet old time building to a climax. 

jane got her gun
Well, your aim is definitely better than a Stormtrooper's. Nice work. 

As a huge fan of all these actors and a semi-consistent follower of these tales of the Old West, Jane Got A Gun didn't get a fair shake.  If so many things hadn't dragged this production through the gutter of development hell, the movie would be way better. But with Joel Edgerton finally getting a decent shake in a lead role, Director Gavin O'Connor did his best with what he was given and pulled a disastrous motion picture back together. 

Don't go in expecting miracles and you may still enjoy the grittiness of Natalie Portman blowing people away while a stellar support cast bleeds out all around her. This is a fine motion picture that 
didn't get the little bit of love it needed. It is, however, still a fine example of Western storytelling. 



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