Jane Got A Gun *SPOILER ALERT* Review
Director: Gavin O'Connor.
There's two songs that sprung to mind when hearing about this film. The first one being the obvious Aerosmith's "Janie's Got A Gun" which made me think of what Bon Jovi did for Blaze of Glory. The other song, the lesser known seventies hit "Torn Between Two Lovers" by Mary McGregor.
It's an interesting premise and I did originally think this was director's Gavin O'Connor's idea, appearing to enjoy making films involving difficult if not awkward family disputes like his previous masterpiece Warrior. But no, it was in fact Warrior star Joel Edgerton who co-wrote the tangled love triangle and wasn't actually set to star himself. O'Connor only came on board after real life drama on the set resulting in people, including previous directors to blow out the movie.
Let's not get dismounted. She loved him, him went to war never to return, she got rescued by another him ensuring a bounty on his head. The first him DOES eventually return only to discover the unintentional betrayal. Now the second him runs into some bad luck and her only hope is him, the first him. You keeping up cowboy? Resulting in an awkward, moral questioning situation.
It really isn't that confusing and the story unravels quite well with the help of flashbacks. But the trailer and poster really gives off the wrong impression; it's not the action-packed westerner you might expect, nor is Co-Producer Natalie Portman's character 'Jane' the heroine the trailer, poster and title might suggest.
Instead what you get is a drama that includes the occasional gun going off. Though it does turn out to be a good drama at that. It's got a good story and when the blanks are filled you can't help but appreciate it. I think it was trying for a similar impact 3:10 to Yuma (2007) had, though it just falls a little flat emotionally and you start to care a little less like how the Wild West was.
There's a strong cast with both Portman and Edgerton having verbal gun fights. Steely eyed Ewan McGregor does an awesome gangboss that feels influenced by Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candie from Django. His look reminded me of Lee Van Cleef from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. 300's Xerxes and Focus' Rodrigo Santoro does little, Run All Night nasty, bad Boyd Holbrook does nasty so well again and Noah Emmerich does little else by lay in bed bleeding.
I have to mention the opening credits as I don't remember ever seeing that many company logos fade in and out on the screen before. And what happened to Lisa Gerrard? Such an amazing vocal musician and I can't remember anything of the score. Normally her voice presence takes over everything.
For what it actually is, it's good. It got a good story behind it and it's very well shot; however it should have been titled 'The Ex' we all know one who was on the verge of being dangerous. (Polite word for psycho, yes.)
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 3
The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for John Bishop and Dan Frost characters.