Directed by Gavin O’Conner
Written by Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, and Joel Edgerton
Starring: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich, Rodrigo Santoro, Boyd Holbrook, and Ewan McGregor
With “Jane Got a Gun” director Gavin O’Conner made the wrong movie. The most interesting part of “Jane” was the story in the flashbacks used throughout the film and the conversations between Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton about what happened between them in the past. “Jane” is about a woman who is being hunted by a gang that she and her husband had prior affiliations with, and that part of the movie is dull and borderline excruciating to sit through.
What “Jane” should have been was the movie should have started with Jane’s husband coming home all shot up, and then Jane seeking out Joel Edgerton. When the first flashback begins, instead of stopping the flashback to resume the current story, the movie should have continued with the flashback story and ending at the point where the flashback becomes the present and continuing through the climax. Structuring the film like this would add maybe half an hour to the movies runtime to accomplish everything that the movie needs to narratively. Because the flashback story is the most interesting part of the film adding an extra half an hour to flesh out that part of the movie would not be unbearable.
“Jane Got a Gun” is a well-directed, reasonably acted and decently written Western, but the movie gets lost in the ambition of Gavin O’Conner trying to make a movie that I do not think he even fully understood.