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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Movie Review - Jane Got a Gun

Jane Got a Gun (2016)
Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, and Noah Emmerich
Directed by Gavin O'Connor
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Loyal readers of this blog may know that westerns are not my thing.  Color me surprised then that through the first act of Jane Got a Gun I was finding myself moderately intrigued with the tale of revenge set in the New Mexico territory in 1871.  Unfortunately, as is the case with most films of this genre, slowness rears its ugly head and the snail's pace of the proceedings hampers the enjoyment.

Jane (Natalie Portman) lives in a secluded house with her five year-old daughter.  After a long absence, her husband Ham (Noah Emmerich) returns home riddled with several bullet wounds inflicted by John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) and his "Bishop Boys" - a group to which Ham had once been a member - telling his wife that John is on the hunt for him and will inevitably be on his way to their house.  Jane enlists the help of her former fiancé Dan (Joel Edgerton) to help save her family whilst we learn the backstory of how Jane, Dan, and John Bishop have all connected in one way or another over the past seven years and just exactly why Jane feels the need to seek out revenge on Bishop and his men.

This film sat on the shelf for years, going through a laundry list of different directors and co-stars for Natalie Portman.  When it was finally released, it ended up being the Weinstein Company's lowest-grossing wide-release ever.  In short, Jane Got a Gun isn't as bad as that damning list would make it seem.  Unfortunately, the film never really rises to the promise that Natalie Portman brings to the table in a strong, stoic performance.  While the back-and-forth time-jumping slowly peels back the layers of Jane's backstory with her three aforementioned male co-stars, the ploy grows tiresome as the film progresses.  Additionally, director Gavin O'Connor stages the film's climatic conclusion in the dark of night, leading to poorly shot moments that are almost indecipherable.  It's a bit of a shame, really, because this started out showing promise before it dissolved into a typically dry, boring western like many of its ilk.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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