Based on the long-running DC Comics gunslinger, Jonah Hex is about a gunslinger in the old west who becomes a bounty hunter after his family is killed. His face is scared in such a way he is scary to look at too his enemies . Now that I have the basic plot out-of-the-way let’s get into why this movie is not what you were hoping for. They get about 60% of the character wrong. I am not quite sure where the production team got the idea Jonah Hex became a ghost whisper. They really try to drag in the audience of the supernatural with his ability to talk to the dead. It makes for a nice cameo appearance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. (Who has now appeared in three DC Vertigo comic book movies in 16 months). There are hints at what could have been a good film in their ideas that never quite get followed up on, scenes that could have been amazing – but mostly it’s an endless mess, squashed into the shortest running time possible. I have to commend DC Comics for trying to make something else besides Superman or Batman but this is not the way to do it.
The movie felt a little rushed. They put something together in such a hurry to get from scene to scene before we even got through with what had just occurred. Josh Brolin is the title character; burdened with a facial prosthetic that reduces most of his dialogue to mumbling, Brolin seems to have no feeling for who the character is. Reminds me of Pamela Anderson in Barbed Wire with the way he talks always through his teeth. He goes from grimly boring to silly, and the only reason why his performance isn’t the film’s worst is because Megan Fox in it as well. I don’t mind Fox in this film she makes fantastic eye candy once again. She plays a tough as nails prostitute with a heart of gold who suddenly becomes an obedient wench whenever Jonah Hex walks into the her life. Fox’s character of Lila got seriously mucked up in the course of the re-writes this film was plagued with. Her character really has nothing to do with the film other than to give Jonah a love interest in place of his poor departed wife. John Malkovich, meanwhile, appears to be acting in this movie just for a paycheck. He plays General Turnbull, a Confederate terrorist who killed Hex’s family and scarred his face, wrongly thought dead who now has a set of magical cannonballs with which he’s going to blow up Washington DC. Malkovich barely even tries to give Turnbull a southern accent, and in more than one scene, I can’ tell if he has it or not. He seems a lot like Madonna one minute she was british one minute she was southern. In the final battle between Hex and Turnbull,
There’s the final battle, which takes place on an ironclad. That’s cut in with Megan Fox battling on the same ironclad. Then it’s cut with an imaginary fist fight between Hex and Turnbull, which in turn is cut with yet another series of flashbacks to Hex’s origin. The final fist fight between Hex and Turnbull is crosscut with an imaginary fist fight between Hex and Turnbull. The idea here, introduced into the film earlier, is that when you’re about to die you imagine yourself finishing up your life’s business. WHAT!!!! Hex is actively engaged in a fight with the same guy at the same time. It’s confusing in the worst way. The imaginary duel is given a red psychedelic haze, maybe half way thru making the movie they started working on EA’s Red Dead Redemption a cowboy Grand Theft Auto that just came out a week before this movie. That person should be beaten. Jonah Hex feels like a movie that nobody understood when they made it, that nobody cared about when they edited it, and that nobody even read the comic books that the movie was based on. If they had at least watched That one awesome episode of Batman the Animated series, Where Hex fights Ras Al Goul during a flashback sequence, that would have helped some. It’s the kind of movie that if you never saw a western before you might like it or if you had never seen an action movie in your life. Jonah Hex should hav had more care put into it, not because its such an unknown character, but because we were promised better than Catwoman. Its currently playing the Entertainment Cinema in Leominster MA.