Movie Review: Jane Got a Gun (2016) and watch out, she’ll use it! Eventually. Any minute now. It’s coming, I swear…

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: at every mention of “Bishop Boys”

Take a Drink: for every flashback scene

Take a Drink: for every gunshot

Take a Drink: bad teeth

Take a Drink: every time someone comments on how beautiful Jane is

Do a Shot: whenever Jane actually holds a gun

 

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: BabyRuth (Three Beers) –

Jane, she’s got a gun
Jane, she’s got a gun
Her whole world’s come undone
Her husband’s now a pin cushion
What did McGregor do?
What did he put her through?
Well now that Jane, she has requested
Some help from her ex-fiancée
That man, you know the one, from The Gift- Joel Edgerton
Those Bishop Boys messed with the wrong dame

Jane, she’s got a gun
Jane, she’s got a gun
Production’s just begun
But everybody, is on the run
Lynne Ramsey flew the coop
Fassbender and Law too
Portman remains the leading lady
This movie still has to be made
So then they got Gavin O’Connor, directing became
His honor, and then there were a bunch of delays

Anyway, anyway back to Jane, yeah yeah yeah
Anyway, anyway back to Jane yeah yeah
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Anyway, anyway, anywayyyyyy

Jane, she’s got a gun
Jane, she’s got a gun
She’s not about to run
She’ll have her revenge, she has reckoned
What did those bad guys do?
The flashbacks will inform you
Jane and Dan, her former sweetie, gonna booby-trap around her range
The first hour may make you sleepy, but fight off all those zzz’s
Cuz, the ending’s anything but lame

Anyway, allow me to explain…

Weird Al still won’t reply to me on Twitter. Whatever.  So yeah, the Natalie Portman Western Jane Got a Gun finally gets its release with little promotion in the cinematic dumping ground known as January. So does it hit a bulls-eye or just fire blanks? (Okay there, all the gun metaphors and Aerosmith references out of the way. I promise.)

A Toast

It’s pretty much impossible not to mention this film’s troubled history – numerous casting changes, original director Lynne Ramsay walking out on the project on the first day of shooting, a bankruptcy, the Weinsteins, and countless release delays (filming was completed in 2013), but director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) does a decent job of picking up the pieces and putting them back together, even though the glue occasionally shows.

Natalie Portman (also a producer) is predictably great in the lead role, but really, has she ever not been great in anything? She also can work the hell out of a period costume better than anyone (well, except Nicole Kidman).

janegotagun2

Jane Got a Cowboy Hat, and she will rock the shit out of it.

Thanks to last year’s The Gift, Joel Edgerton has gone from “oh yeah, I know that guy” to “ooh, cool, Joel Edgerton!” Through all the production’s changes, he ended up as the male lead as well as a late-stage co-writer of the screenplay. On the acting side,  he certainly looks the part and fits the role of the gruff and lovelorn gunslinger well and he and Portman have some great scenes together, emitting genuine chemistry. If anything good came out of all the recasting, it’s him.

The supporting cast all seem to have fun playing dress-up, especially an unrecognizable Ewan McGregor as the mustache-twirling(not really) leader of the “Bishop Boys” gang. Seriously, it took me half the movie to realize it was him.

WHO ARE YOU?

The action picks up in the last half hour or so leading to an explosive (quite literally) climax that is as suspenseful and entertaining as one can hope for.

Beer Two

Though it’s only an hour and 38 minutes, the film feels much, much longer due to the snail-paced plot, which gradually provides key details via numerous flashbacks. The flashbacks didn’t bother me much; in fact they were a welcome distraction from the main story, which plods  along almost unbearably. My theater of choice has those new, ridiculously comfortable reclining seats and I actually had to un-recline to keep myself from dozing off during some of the longer stretches.  I get it, O’Connor was attempting to build dread leading up the inevitable show-down (which as I mentioned earlier is great and almost makes up for the rest), but the somber tone and sluggish pace kills any momentum.

cowboy_snail

“We’ll get there eventually, show another flashback!”

Beer Three

When I read the plot synopsis for this film, I was pretty excited to see a badass female protagonist exacting revenge on the no-good villains who wronged her, and although Portman’s Jane does get to use that gun a few times, she more often plays damsel in distress to Edgerton’s character, which is a bit of a bummer. Jane’s Ex-fiancée Got a Gun would have been a more appropriate title.

She’s also saved (via a flashback of course) by her current husband (Noah Emmerich, who gets to pick up a paycheck while laying in bed drunk for the majority of the film, which is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me), so, yeah, she’s not exactly The Bride.

janegotagun1

“Why don’t you just let me take that for now?”

Verdict

Not the disaster you’d expect given the film’s troubled history (and definitely not the disaster many are making it out to be), but not a runoutandseeitnow! recommendation either. Though Jane doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, it’s still a worthwhile cable or Netflix watch due to the wonderful performances and action-packed final act.

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About BabyRuth

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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