Well at least this Attack of the Clones reunion was better than the prequels…
Jane Got a Gun stars Natalie Portman (V for Vendetta, Black Swan), Joel Edgerton (Warrior, The Gift), Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Star Wars Prequels) and is directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior)
When Jane’s (Portman) husband returns home with several gun shot wounds and tells her a gang is after them, she asks for help from her ex-lover, Dan Frost (Edgerton).
Jane Got a Gun has been in development hell for years. It’s changed directors, changed actors and the studio it was originally being distributed by went bankrupt last year. So this film hasn’t had the smoothest ride and by all means should be a completely mess. It’s not a great film but after all the problems it’s had, I don’t think it was that bad.
The best aspect this film has going for it, is the acting. You have three tremendous performers, doing all they could with the material. Edgerton gives the best performance and is easily the best character in the film. It doesn’t matter what he’s in, he is always a standout and is becoming one of the best actors working. He’s your usual western hero but when these characters are played by the right actor, you get the kind of guy that you want to route for and see succeed. Portman and McGregor give very solid performance but don’t have a lot to do (more on that later).
Gavin O’Connor is an outstanding director. His previous film Warrior is one of the best sports films ever made and he also directed Joel Edgerton in that film to an amazing performance. He came onto this project on very short notice, managed to put the pieces together and come up with a film that’s a lot better than what many other directors would have done. He’s in no way made a film on the level of Warrior but with no time to really sink his teeth into the story and characters, you can’t blame him, for what he did produce. I’m still looking forward to whatever he’s doing in the future and hope he gets better opportunities.
This film starts off OK. It has a good setup, I was intrigued and ready to see where the story was going. The ending wasn’t to bad either, there was an enjoyable shootout scene, some good tension but the middle of this film is torture. The whole second act, is Portman and Edgerton waiting around for the gang to show up… and then they wait some more… and they wait some more and then they wait some more. Nothing happens for a solid 40 minutes and I really started to tune out. They use flashbacks to explain what has happened to lead up to this point and it was all very boring. There was nothing new here and jumping around in time made the film feel very disjointed.
Surprisingly Jane never really uses a gun. Sure she fires a few shots but really Edgerton’s character is the gunslinger. Jane is actually a really dull, boring character. Portman is a great actress when she has great material to work with but in this she just kind of walks around and does nothing. When the action and shootout happens, Edgerton does the shooting, he made all the traps and she gets saved. In a time when badass female protagonists are being pushed more than ever, this should have been a film that really help the cause but instead will be one we’ll try not to remember.
Ewan McGregor plays the villain and he also has nothing to him. You have one of the best actors working, playing what should have been an evil, despicable character but I’m not sure if we ever see him do anything bad. When the time comes for the big shootout, we should want the heroes to kill the bad guy and get revenge but I didn’t know this villain enough to care about what was happening. The scenes McGregor has are good but theres nowhere near enough of them.
Overall I think Gavin O’Connor deserves a whole lot of credit for being able to put together something, with what he had but unfortunately this film feel likes it’s 2 and a half hours, when it’s actually only 100 minutes. It’s very slow and rather boring. Some good performances but not enough to make this film enjoyable.
Have you seen Jane Got a Gun and did you enjoy it?