Released this week on Blu-Ray and DVD, Jane Got A Gun (R, 98 minutes) is a Western set in 1871, as mother Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) is trying to raise a family with her loyal husband Bill (Noah Emmerich).
Unfortunately Bill is saddled with an outlaw past that comes back to haunt him, as he returns to his New Mexico territory area home with several bullets lodged in his battered body. With a group of cutthroats led by John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) ready to eliminate Bill and his kin, Jane turns to Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton, who also serves as the film’s co-writer), a Civil War vet who has his own ties with Jane.
The picture had a rough going in getting made, as director Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin) left the project for creative reasons. Gavin O’Connor, who previously worked with Edgerton in 2011’s Warrior, replaced Ramsay and has done a more than admirable job with this Western. Michael Fassbender and Bradley Cooper were initially involved in the project, but they also moved on and were replaced by McGregor and Cooper.
Even with its checkered past, the film features solid work from Portman and especially Edgerton, whose character actually has the biggest arc in the narrative. The feature’s biggest draw, along with the slam-bang action that anchors the film’s final act, is Mandy Walker’s cinematography skills. Walker, whose previous director of photography credits include the underrated Mia Wasikowski flick Tracks and the Baz Luhrmann epic Australia, brings a wide open, cinematic scope to the proceedings. Whether it’s watching Jane ride into a broken down, one-horse town to stock up on guns or taking in the beautiful vistas that surround Jane’s domicile, the film has its share of eye catching compositions. Last but not least, it’s also fun hearing the lead actors convincingly pull off Southern accents!
Unfortunately, the Blu-ray doesn’t have any special features, but if you’re a Western fan and love Portman and Edgerton’s work, then Jane Got A Gun should be worth your time. To hear my discussion of Jane Got A Gun on CinemAddicts, click on the media bar below (review starts at 51:00).