Even if you weren’t hip to all of the production woes that went along with the making of Gavin O’Connor’s pedestrian death western Jane Got a Gun, you’d still walk out with the suspicion that something must have gone awry.
Natalie Portman plays the title character – a pistol-packin’ pioneer woman in the New Mexico Territory circa 1871 whose husband runs afoul of the dreaded Bishop Boys.
With her beau riddled with bullets and unable to get out of bed, Jane enlists the help of her bitter ex-lover to fend off the Bishops’ siege.
While Portman emotes and Edgerton broods, McGregor all but twirls that mustache of his in what few scenes he gets.
I’m guessing t were more that wound up on the cutting-room floor, but either way, he’s just not a satisfying, fleshed-out villain.
All of the characters feel more sketched than drawn.
Still, even with its relatively svelte 97-minute running time, O’Connor’s dirge-like oater takes what feels like an eternity to build to its inevitable climactic spasm of bloodshed.
Jane Got a Gun is a slow fuse of a film that burns to a whimper instead of an explosion.