Lately the western genre has been on a roll delivering some great films both on the big screen and straight to Blu-ray. The latest, Jane Got A Gun features a great cast including Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, and Noah Emmerich, but does it pack the punch needed to continue the trend of great westerns or will this one loose the shootout at dawn?
Jane Got A Gun follows Jane Hammond, who has built a new life with her husband Bill “Ham” Hammond after being tormented by the ultra-violent Bishop Boys outlaw gang. She finds herself in the gang’s cross-hairs once again when Ham stumbles home riddled with bullets after dueling with the Boys and their relentless mastermind Colin. With the vengeful crew hot on Ham’s trail, Jane has nowhere to turn but to her former fiancé Dan Frost for help in defending her family against certain destruction. Haunted by old memories, Jane’s past meets the present in a heart-stopping battle for survival. This film was a pleasant surprise offering up not only capturing a great classic western feel but also a modern tale that delivers everything you could want. The story is great, but does get a bit lost on itself at times as it is all over the place, but thankfully manages to usually find its way back. There are a lot of seemingly unnecessary moments early on between Portman and Edgerton, but as the story progresses you see why they kept going back and forth with their story. The film isn’t action packed initially, but changes that pretty quickly with a great explosive payoff at the end and a classic western sequence featuring Noah Emmerich who wreaks havoc throughout a hotel.
Everyone in the cast do a great job with Portman bringing a tortured subtle approach to her character who continues to have to fight to just live a normal life. Edgerton brings a tough outer exterior, but clearly has inner demons that he is fighting from his past and his present. McGregor is a fun old school villain who looks to be having a lot of fun in the role and chews up his screen time with menace and sometimes over the top performance. The most impressive of the group is that of Emmerich who spends just about the entire film in bed and having to sell his performance that requires pain, emotion and even some action all while being able to move very little. You might think this would be easy, but when you see the amount of stuff he does from that same spot and think about what he is actually accomplishing it is really impressive.
In the end this film offers up yet another good entry into the western genre that continues to make a comeback. This release doesn’t offer up any special features but the film itself is enough to please western fans. Load up your six-shooter and join the fight when Jane Got A Gun hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 26th from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment.