R Dir: Gavin O'Connor | Starz/Anchor Bay | 1h 38min
Plot: What’s it about?
Set during the 1800’s in New Mexico, Jane got a Gun stars Natalie Portman as the title character. Jane is enlists the help of Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton), her former lover to help protect her from foes of her husband, Bill (Noah Emmerich). The two of them also have a daughter as well. It’s events from Bill’s past that have come back to haunt him, well them you could say since Jane is now involved. The Bishop Boys gang are who are after them. John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) is the leader of the gang. This lays out the ground work of a fairly decent, but never great modern western.
I’m a moderate fan of Natalie Portman, but I never warmed up to her in the role. I kept wondering what a stronger leading actress might’ve brought to this role. She just seems a bit too vulnerable at times. The film’s pacing is also an issue; it simply never takes off. Even with lowered expectations, I was expecting just a bit more action. I don’t mind character driven stories, but none of the characters here are particularly compelling. The other actors do capable, if not remarkable jobs as well. This all leaves Janeas something of a mixed bag. It comes with potential, but never quite gets there.
Video: How’s it look?
The AVC encoded 2.40:1 transfer is more than pleasing to the eyes. I’ve often complimented westerns when it comes to the HD format, and this is no exception. Details are strong and consistent throughout with strong, bold colors. The print used is free of flaws as well. There’s a bit of a yellowish hue to the film, but since I feel that was intentional, that shouldn’t be held against it. Fans will dig this transfer.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track satisfies, but the film isn’t quite the action packed ride you might be expecting. Still, vocals are clear and the rears get an appropriate amount of usage. There’s a bit of bass that kicks in more than often as well. The footsteps we hear of wind blowing and the dusty background also comes through nicely to help compliment the atmosphere of the film. The track serves the film well.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Outside of a digital code and some previews, this disc is as barren as the desert in which the film is set.
The Bottom Line
The potential is there, but Jane never quite takes off. I can’t endorse more than a mild rental, but more if it’s a last resort. I also have issues with Portman in the lead role. She just doesn’t seem to fit in here and that became a distraction after a while.