Jane Got a Gun Blu-ray Review

JANE GOT A GUN is a solid western about revenge and redemption. It was a big flop when it came out in the theaters for The Weinstein Company, but it should be checked out.

The title Jane (Natalie Portman) is Jane Hammond. She’s had a hard scrabbled life with many ups and downs. The film first takes us to the year of 1871. The Civil War had been over for a few years. Jane is settling down with her daughter. Her husband Bill Hammond (Noah Emmerich) falls off his horse riddled with bullets. Bill tells Jane writhing in pain that the Bishop Boys are coming for them. This is a gang that they’ve tangled with in the past.

Natalie Portman in Jane Got a Gun

Director Gavin O’Connor and his screenwriters (Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis and star Joel Edgerton) have crafted a tale that takes full advantage of the New Mexico setting. There is stark and vast scenery to play with. O’Connor wisely shows how little there is around Jane and Bill’s homestead. They are out there on their own making their way.

We see Jane at various points in her life from just before the war, during the war, just after the war and then finally the 1871 establishing point. The story slowly unspools with how she and Bill had tangled with the vicious Bishop Boys. You won’t know what to make of the characters until it comes together in the end. It does keep you on edge to found out what else had happened.

Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton in Jane Got a Gun

Jane springs into action to prepare for her unwanted visitors. She gets supplies, guns and ammunition. She is literally preparing for war. She pays a visit to an old friend named Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton). These two had a romantic history in the past that didn’t end in happy terms. He’s not thrilled to see her in his dwelling. She begs him for his help in this dangerous confrontation. Meanwhile John Bishop (an unrecognizable in several ways Ewan McGregor) is trying to get information on the whereabouts of Jane and Bill. Bill had killed a few of his men before getting shot. John also had unfinished business with Jane.

The three major players in the film are Jane, Bill and Dan. We find out how they all got to where they were and how the villainous John Bishop played his part. Jane had a daughter during the war. In 1864 she inquired with the Bishop Boys on getting safe passage with their group. Jane had heard that Raphael, New Mexico was rich with silver and opportunity. This would be a mistake in judgment.

 Jane Got a Gun

Before the war Dan and Jane were happy and content with their lot in life. They took a hot air balloon and the world was their oyster. Dan was about to enlist and figured it would only take a few months to put this rebellion down. He would be wrong. Misinformation was rampant and wires got crossed. Bill would come into play after that. By the end of the flashbacks, the viewer will know all that transpired and how the puzzle fit. The final battle is exciting and satisfying.

JANE GOT A GUN is a quality film that is simple in nature, but universal in its appeal. It deserved a better fate at the box office.


Video: The New Mexico setting is perfectly captured and shows up well on screen.

Audio: The sound was mostly solid.

There were no special features.


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