Dave White
Jonah Hex Review

Dave's Rating:


How to kill a comic book.

Who's In It: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Tom Wopat, Michael Shannon, Wes Bentley

The Basics: Permanently disfigured by the terrorist (Malkovich, and yes that's the word they use in this movie set in 1876--more about that in a bit) who also killed his wife and child, Jonah Hex is an antihero who can't seem to die like he's supposed to. Instead he can re-animate the dead and speak to them, employing them as helpful information delivery systems unless he just feels like breathing life into them for a second to remind them that they're dead before he kills them twice. Anyway, as he embarks on a violent quest for revenge he also winds up saving the United States capitol, with help from prostitute pal Megan Fox, from Malkovich's proto-nuclear weapon. That there isn't a giant mechanical spider in this one like they had in Wild Wild West seems like a missed opportunity to pay tribute to another crappy contemporary comic-book-like Western.

What's The Deal: At 80 minutes long but feeling like 160, you can tell in every frame of this movie that something went horribly wrong. At every turn. With every element. Even my favorite thing, the crushingly heavy score co-created by metal band Mastodon, seems like it was chopped up and removed of all elements that would have made for a unique experience and then left to limp along on its own. Worse, this film was written by the guys who created the awesome Crank movies. You can feel it straining to be wild, to be irreverent, to be bold and gut-kicking, but someone with the power to do so muzzled and ruined it. Bummer.

A Short List Of Grievances: Horrible animated opening, cheap effects, stupid attempts at analogous Al Qaeda and contemporary terrorism references, inconsistent scar makeup on Josh Brolin, an onslaught of bloodless PG-13 deaths, hatefully boring chemistry between Brolin and Megan Fox (who wanders through the entire film sweaty and half-asleep), joyless jokes followed by references to earlier joyless jokes in which Brolin says stuff like, "I'm all outta wise-ass [comments]," which will in turn make you think to yourself, "Somebody said something wise-assy before this? Was I napping? Getting popcorn?" It's enough to make you want to kill the film reels, bring them back to life and then kill them again.

A Shorter List Of Stuff That Isn't Horrible: I liked the part where a crow living in Jonah Hex's throat pops out and flies away. It makes no sense, but it looks cool.

Who'll Want To See It Anyway: Comic book nerds spoiling for a fight, Civil War re-enactors, vintage men's facial hair enthusiasts and anyone who wonders if Will Arnett can keep a straight face while saying his lines. He does. There, I just saved you guys the price of a ticket.


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