Jane Got A Gun

Despite what you may think a glaringly obvious move, there is nary an Aerosmith tune in this whole dang movie. Sure it’s a western set in the 1800s, but that wouldn’t have stopped Baz Luhrmann, I’ll tell you that much, pard’ner.

When Jane’s husband comes home all shot up with bad guys on his tail, she’s got no choice but toย hustle upย the services of the nearest hired gun…who just happens to be her ex-lover.

maxresdefaultI’ve never been in an old-timey gun fight (knock wood!) but I imagine the only thing worse than being laid up in bed full of bullet holes, gangrene mere moments away,ย is to watch your wife fall into the sexy arms of her much-handsomer ex-boyfriend as he protects the both of you and you’re too weak to even protest. How embarrassing!

Although I’d say it’s way more embarrassing to have made such a generic film with absolutely no personality despite passable performances by Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton (full disclosure: Ewan McGregor is purportedly also in this film but I totally failed to notice him…if the story checks out, you may remember that these three appeared together in the Star Wars prequels, so they do have a history of making bad choices).

It’s not exactly a surprise that this film failed to make a saloon-worthy splash, it was syphilitic with trouble since day one. Actually, since the day before day one, which is when the original director, Lynne Ramsay, walked off the project after a 3-day stand-off with untitledproducers who refused to give her final cut. Cinematographer Darius Khondji followed in solidarity, as did Jude Law. Bradley Cooper was brought on to replace him, with Gavin O’Connor in the director’s seat, totally unprepared. Michael Fassbender had already left over clashes with Ramsey so when Cooper left, Joel Edgerton was shuffled over from bad guy to good and Ewan McGregor took up the baddie role. It’s kind of a miracle this movie got made at all, and maybe they should have just left well enough alone.

Not that it’s despicable, it’s just not very entertaining. It looks really good in spots but it’s got the plot of every western you’ve ever seen, interspersed with confusing flash-backs. And I must say: huge missed opportunity. This could have been a table-turning, gun-slinging feminist western but instead Portman dispassionately pinballs from one man to the next and is very much a damsel in distress and that made me one disinterested dame.

 

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33 thoughts on “Jane Got A Gun

  1. ridicuryder

    Jay with a gun,

    I fucking love it when you blast a multi-billion dollar industry (obviously very fond of fucking up at times) to bits like this!

    Keep up the good work!

    RR

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  2. J.

    Disappointing. I was hoping this would have been worthwhile. Still, I dare say my liking for a wee Sunday afternoon western will result in me seeing this one at some point down the line …

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  3. John Charet

    I understand that in Jane Got A Gun, Aerosmith hardly sings a song. Let me tell you about a great Western that has a continuous singing score. That is none other than Robert Altman’s 1971 revisionist Western masterpiece McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971). Leonard Cohen sings the background songs that start before a scene and after. Trivia for you: Leonard Cohen is Canadian and the film was shot on location in British Columbia, Canada ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a big Altman fan and I have a blog entry regarding my favorite films of his on my site ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to check it out whenever you want ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, keep up the great work as always ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Courtney Small

    The cast has me intrigued, that and the fact it is by the director of Tumbleweeds, but your review has me thinking twice about seeking it out on Netflix. It sounds like the whole production was cursed from day on, which is a shame given the talented individuals involved.

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    1. Jay Post author

      It is. They really couldn’t get it together. I think it’s frustrating that it is often so beautiful but can’t quite make a cohesive whole. Not totally without merit though, so maybe still worth checking out.

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  5. Bun Karyudo

    Oh dear. I quite like Westerns, so I’m always pleased when somebody makes a good one and keeps the once-mighty genre limping along for another couple of years. Sadly, this effort sounds rather more likely to have the cowboy movie put it out of its misery once and for all.

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      1. Bun Karyudo

        I hadn’t heard of it, but I had a quick look at Sean’s review. It sounds pretty good. It’s one I may have a look at if I find myself with a couple of hours to fill on a Sunday.

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  6. Lloyd Marken

    For this paragraph alone I liked the review. “Although Iโ€™d say itโ€™s way more embarrassing to have made such a generic film with absolutely no personality despite passable performances by Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton (full disclosure: Ewan McGregor is purportedly also in this film but I totally failed to notice himโ€ฆif the story checks out, you may remember that these three appeared together in the Star Wars prequels, so they do have a history of making bad choices).” Just beautifully done. ๐Ÿ™‚

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