Who knows what Jonah Hex was supposed to be, really? Based on the DC Comics character, the film is a weird mish-mash of Western, revenge flick, spirituality, and fantasyplus they toss in some Megan Fox just to get more boys in the seats. It all adds up to a bit of a mess, even at a short 80-ish minutes or so, but even with its myriad of flaws, theres still something sorta likeable here.
Starts off, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) has a ringside seat as his wife and kid are being murdered by one Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), Hexs former commanding officer who believes Hex to be responsible for the death of his son. After the massacre, Turnbull brands Jonahs face and leaves him for dead. Instead of dying, though, Hex is healed by some friendly Native Americans and goes on to become a bounty hunter with a penchant for talking to the dead, while Turnbull goes on to become dead. Soon, though, Turnbull resurfaces with a real bone to pick with the newly formed United States, and President Grant himself enlists the help of Jonah Hex to quash Turnbulls hopes of new country destruction.
Sounds fun enough, right? In some ways, it is. Brolin is surly cowboy dude perfection, and Im a firm believer that hes the current movieworlds best hope if ever the Western is to be revived. Even the make-up and effects that create his disfigurement are well doneJonah Hex, as a character, works. Its the rest of the film thats riddled with holes. For one, Fox may be pretty, and Im probably one of the only people who liked her in Jennifers Body, but here shes just kind of useless and empty as Hexs supposed love interest, a role that would have benefitted from someone a little less clean looking. Malkovich is also miscast, and somehow every line sounds as if hes reading it in an attempt to point out how over the top it is. All that could be overlookedeven seen as adding to the B-movie-ish charm of the thingbut its all just so poorly edited. The story jumps from Point A to Point 32 to Point Manatee and were supposed to follow, but when the climax finally does come, its all very anti-climactic and not much of a pay-off, plus its a little convoluted as to how we got there. Josh Brolin, though? Still cool.
It's Got: Awesome Brolin, Good makeup, Set-up for better installments in the future
It Needs: Better editing, A different villain, A better female lead
It’s a mess, and Megan Fox is pretty much pointless, but Jonah Hex has its moments of B-movie Western fun.