Old western delivers the drama


After being stuck in the production phase since 2011, “Jane Got A Gun” finally reached theaters on Jan. 29.

Natalie Portman stars as Jane, who’s started a new life with her husband, Bill Hammond (Noah Emmerich). But after a run in with Bill’s old gang (which is led by John Bishop, played by Ewan Mcgregor), Jane has no one to turn to for protection except the reluctant help of her ex-fiancé, Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton).

Old feelings and tensions run high as old wounds reopen and Jane, Bill and Dan face the past that brought them to present circumstances.

I will admit, I went into “Jane Got a Gun” with low expectations. I am a fan of westerns, and Joel Edgerton has shown strong acting ability in earlier films this year (“The Gift”, “Black Mass”). But I was surprised at how good of a movie it was. It’s no “Fistful of Dollars” or “Sons of Katie Elder,” but “Jane Got A Gun” is a solid hour-and-a-half of Old West entertainment.

It chugs along in present time, introducing characters and conflicts which are a bit confusing at first. But then, the past of Jane and the men in her life are revealed in flashbacks throughout the movie.

These flashbacks give just enough information for you to understand the characters better and to form your own opinions about them. It was very rewarding to see just how all the characters are connected and making guesses as to who did what in the past.

Now, “Jane” is not a mystery movie. It just uses a clever way to tell its story, rather than being a straight-forward shoot-‘em-up.

As mentioned before, Edgerton was my big reason for wanting to see this, and he did not disappoint. Portman did a fine job as the leading lady; Noah Emmerich, while bed-ridden for most of the movie, has his chance to shine during flashback scenes. Finally, McGregor was another high point, as the conniving John Bishop.

The only complaint I have is that the ending of the movie felt rushed after an evenly paced plot and grand climax leading up to it.

Overall, I was very satisfied with “Jane Got A Gun.” If you like westerns with some drama, this is perfect for you.