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Jonah Hex (2010)

Starring:

John Malkovich

Josh Brolin

Megan Fox

Michael Fassbender

Michael Shannon

Tom Wopat

Wes Bentley

Will Arnett

Directed by:

Jimmy Hayward

Rating: 5/10

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 fantasy—plus 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, there’s 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), Hex’s former commanding officer who believes Hex to be responsible for the death of his son. After the massacre, Turnbull brands Jonah’s 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 Turnbull’s hopes of new country destruction.

Sounds fun enough, right? In some ways, it is. Brolin is surly cowboy dude perfection, and I’m a firm believer that he’s the current movieworld’s best hope if ever the Western is to be revived. Even the make-up and effects that create his disfigurement are well done—Jonah Hex, as a character, works. It’s the rest of the film that’s riddled with holes. For one, Fox may be pretty, and I’m probably one of the only people who liked her in Jennifer’s Body, but here she’s just kind of useless and empty as Hex’s 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 he’s reading it in an attempt to point out how over the top it is. All that could be overlooked—even seen as adding to the B-movie-ish charm of the thing—but it’s all just so poorly edited. The story jumps from Point A to Point 32 to Point Manatee and we’re supposed to follow, but when the climax finally does come, it’s all very anti-climactic and not much of a pay-off, plus it’s 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

Summary

It’s a mess, and Megan Fox is pretty much pointless, but Jonah Hex has its moments of B-movie Western fun.

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