Jonah Hex – Review
A true example of a film I see so you don’t have to!
Every few years a sacrificial lamb is thrown to the dogs. Some of our fondest comic book memories are given piss poor treatments… a level that sits well below efforts like Fantastic Four, The Punisher, Daredevil, and Ghost Rider. I’m talkin’ Cat Woman, Elektra, Batman Forever/& Robin… the unwatchables! Well, add another to the list… Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears A Who) brings us Jonah Hex.
Jonah Hex(Josh Brolin) is a confederate soldier with a conscience. When he turns his back on his commanding officer(John Malkovich) ordering him to burn down a hospital of innocent people, and shoots that officer’s son in self defence, he is disfigured and forced to watch his own family burn alive. During Hex’s quest for vengeance, Quenin Tumbull (the commanding officer) dies in a fire, robbing him of his vengeance. It’s then that Jonah Hex takes to the West as an outlaw bounty hunter… wih giant gatling guns strapped to both sides of his horse… someone thought this would be cool…. Anyways, Tumbull is alive (go figure), and he’s got himself a reputation. The Mexicans call him Terroriste… I guess its a play on the origin of the word. So the government wants Hex brought in to capture or kill him… because no one else can…
Josh Brolin does what he can with the role, but unfortunately there’s not much to work with. The story is weak at its very best. Character development is laughably shallow, and Meghan Fox… wow, what a useless character, nevermind the fact that she can’t act. Her character is there for one reason and one reason only (besides eye candy)… and if it wasn’t predictable enough in the film, they gave it to you in the trailer. John Malkovich, although a notably good actor, strolls through the lines, never really adding anything of value to his character… just another paycheck.
Some of the under-developed material in the film could have helped it out quite a bit if someone with some talent got a hold of it. The talking to the dead was cool, but really only half baked… there could have been so much more to explore there. The dog as a sidekick… I liked it, but they did absolutely nothing with it. I would have much more preferred a bond between the dog and Hex, than the silly excuse for love they threw at us with Meghan Fox. Did I say she can’t act…
Anyways, even with a running time of just a little over 80 minutes, the film felt just too damn long. I also can’t believe they managed to recycle a fair amount of shots. I expect these tricks from a low budget, straight to video production, but c’mon… it just doesn’t seem like anybody was trying here. A medium shot of Hex riding his horse across the country side was recycled at least 3 times. The whole family burning scene was used at least twice. Overall, the film is a hodge podge mess that suffers from bad direction, terrible editing, lifeless performances, and a completely stupid story! I really wanted to like this on some level, but even trying to get past the bad latex appliance used for the fleshy wound over Hex’s mouth was a chore.
Y’know that feeling you had towards the end of the Wild Wild West movie… that giant mechanical spider scene… well, although not quite as grand as a mechanical spider, you get that same feeling here as the giant city leveling weapon is revealed. Too much technological hokum in a film that’s too afraid to stick to its roots.
Jonah Hex just grazed over 5 million on its opening weekend. If that’s not enough to send you somewhere else, you deserve what you get!