Two years ago Natalie Portman’s vanity project, Jane Got a Gun, ran into a lot of problems. After a hella troubled period that saw the original director, Lynn Ramsay, leave the project on the first day of production, followed by leading man Jude Law, and then a slew of potential replacements filtered through Joel Edgerton finally took the spot opposite Portman. Then, this past summer, distributor Relativity filed for bankruptcy and had to jettison the film, which nixed its planned September 4 release date. The Weinstein Company stepped in and rescued it, but they’re dumping it in February 2016, which, like everything else about this movie, is inauspicious.
Thanks to a November release in France, though, we now have a trailer for this movie, so we can finally see what all the fuss is about. Answer: Not…much. It doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t look particularly good, either. The highlight is an almost unrecognizable Ewan McGregor as the main outlaw. He’s also doing a way better accent than either Portman or Edgerton, both of whom sound like they’re taking their cues from Yosemite Sam. The trailer is obviously cut to mimic a Tarantino movie, with promises of a lot of gunplay and violence—I do like the bit with Jane shooting off the ax handle—but the problem is that we’re getting an actual Tarantino Western this winter, so Jane Got a Gun is left looking like a pale imitation. It reminds me of Portman’s other troubled movie, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies— maybe not a complete mess, but certainly not what anyone hoped for.