Jonah Hex Directed by: Jimmy Hayward Cast: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Will Arnet Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: June 18, 2010
PLOT: A bounty hunter/cowboy (Brolin) makes a deal with the U.S. military after the Civil War and goes after a man (Malkovich) who's trying to get revenge on the North.
WHO'S IT FOR? Western fans will probably appreciate this more than superhero fans. It's a pretty basic action movie. Parents, keep in mind this is a pretty violent PG-13.
EXPECTATIONS: I was able to avoid the majority of previews for this one. I knew Brolin had a messed up face, and this was based on a comic book I had never heard of. That's it. Thought it could be fun.
Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex: Hex is all riled up because he did what he thought what was right, and it cost him his family. That really chafes this film critic's hide. Ever since his near-death experience, Hex can talk to dead people. It's kind of interesting, and Brolin does his best Eastwood-like impression with the role. I still just don't know where he falls in the "superhero" category. Score: 6
Megan Fox as Lilah: She's a prostitute with a heart of ... well, not exactly gold. We really don't know what makes her tick, or what she's doing in this film at all. This isn't Fox's fault, it's just the character defends herself once or twice, and also really likes Hex. That's all we're given. They also try to figure out a way to get her cleavage as close to her chin as possible, which is nice. But not nice enough. Score: 3
John Malkovich as Quentin Turnbull: Man. Who doesn't like Malkovich as a villain? Chewing up scenes and taking names. That's what you expect. That's not what you get. I think this is a combination of Malkovich mailing it in, and the character, just like Lilah, not really being fleshed out. There is no great Malkovich moment here. Quentin wants to destroy the North, cause he's from the South. A terrorist needs a super weapon and this helps his chances. Going in and out of his accent hurts Malkovich's chances at capturing much of anything. Score: 3
Will Arnett as Lieutenant Grass: This section really sums up the movie as a whole. Arnett is not the comic relief. Grass actually says this line in the movie, "My unit is the very best." It's not a joke. How can you possibly give Arnett that line and not treat it as a joke? This is Will "Gob" Arnett! More importantly, I am sick of the good guy who plays "The guy who is disgusted that someone else is willing to help solve the problem that could destroy the world." Just be glad you're getting some help, OK? Score: 3
TALKING: Just in case not everyone is clear on what character Brolin is playing, everybody says the name "Jonah Hex" about 200 times. It's "Jonah Hex this ..." and "Jonah Hex that ..." I'm guessing they figured if they said his full name every time that would fill up an extra three minutes in the movie. They try to squeeze in some catchy one-liners when the killing is done or about to start like, "Five coffins, sure you don't need eight?" Score: 4
SIGHTS: For me, it was touch and go with the face make-up of Hex. Sometimes it looked good. Sometimes it looked like he had a line of silly putty dangling from his upper lip. Sometimes he reminded me of Fire Marshall Bill. In other words, it was on my mind. Also, take notice that with four different locations, when Hex walks away, there's an explosion. Pretty amusing. There's nothing wrong with the city scape of an old Washington D.C., or some of the cowboy shooting Hex pulls off. Score: 5
SOUNDS: It's a heavy guitar riff throughout for the score. Fans of Westerns will be annoyed, teenage boys will approve. Score: 4
BEST SCENE: When Hex makes his presence known in the beginning, and has to shoot up men who owe him a reward, I was pretty happy. Little things like when Hex needs to shoot down a sniper in the bell tower, so he shoots the bell first, yup that stuff works for me.
ENDING: Aidan Quinn plays the president. I might as well tell you he's got one of the worst lines that HAS to be meant as a joke. But at this point in the movie, they don't earn it. "America needs a sheriff." Screw it, let's just find some sunset to walk off into.
QUESTIONS: Who wanted this movie made? The general public doesn't know Hex from T-Rex. Did Megan Fox only have to do three days of shooting for this role? More importantly, this one is for you Hex, if you buy fancy new crossbow dynamite guns, and shoot them off once ... shouldn't you hang on to them? I mean, they probably cost a lot right? Terrible investment.
REWATCHABILITY: No, but it does get my Western juices flowing. Dear god, what a disgusting image I just created when all I wanted to say was, I still like watching Westerns.
Josh Brolin grits half his teeth for the whole movie. I just can't tell if he's doing it to stay in character, or because he's disgusted with everyone else's effort in the film. Jonah Hex is lazy. Not the cowboy, no, he rides fast and rides hard leaving a trail of dust behind. Jonah Hex the movie is lazy. Characters keep stumbling into each other, somehow it's decided that the hottest whore (correct term for those days) in the world loves our cowboy, and we can't even depend on Malkovich to get us some over-the-top acting. I mean, at one point a henchmen goes looking for someone who Hex loves. So they can "lure him" in. Yet, Hex is already desperately trying to find the evil-doers. He doesn't need to be lured. Plus, the henchmen finally finds Lilah the prostitute and never once asks if she knows Hex. Lazy. Brolin puts forth a decent effort, but don't expect Jonah Hex to flex any lasting power in this summer box office season.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10