“Jonah Bloody Hex! I’d know that Half-Baked piehole anywhere!”
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Starring: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich
Writers: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
When I heard that Jonah Hex was being turned into a movie I was kind of buzzed. I have a weak spot for Westerns and with Jonah Hex I saw a great potential for a solid Horror Western film. Then the casting was announced and we had Josh Brolin and John Malkovich I was even more excited. Josh Brolin in my mind was a great choice for Hex and Malkovich is a good bet when it comes to villains (we don’t mention Eragon). Then word got leaked out that a lot of the film was being reshot due to ‘problems.’ I’m not sure what these problems were; I didn’t want to delve into it. Trailers were released and it looked okay, but my faith was wavering. Then negative reviews hit and I don’t think it was ever released in Australia. Sound the death bell. Well I’ve finally caught up with Hex and I’m ready to deal out some rough justice.
Ouch man. That’s all I got to really say about this movie. It’s sad as there was so much potential but instead of sticking to one idea and running with it they tried to please way too many people. Also watching the movie I couldn’t help but feel how incomplete it felt. The origin of Jonah Hex is done in a cartoon that just doesn’t gel with the rest of the movie. I guess that’s the major complaint of this movie, nothing gels together; it’s a patchwork of a movie and instead of something good the film makers have created a Frankenstein’s monster of a movie that will surely throw many children into various water sources.
Acting wise Josh Brolin is actually pretty good if maybe over doing the growling at times. He does seem to be acting a little more serious than the film demands and as such when you have cartoony characters rocking up into scene it just doesn’t work. John Malkovich just seems bored, or at least I was bored with his performance. I didn’t care about the villains motivations and only wanted him dead as it meant the movie wouldn’t be far from ending. Megan Fox as Lilah the tough prostitute with a heart of gold is yet another nail in her careers coffin. Yet if anything this time it isn’t her fault as she is given absolutely nothing to work with, her character is so underdeveloped I feel sorry for her. Finally I will give a shout out to Michael Fassbender as the character Burke. As John Malkovich’s right hand flunky his character at least interested me and I was more excited to see him and Hex throw down than any other clash.
Story wise we have a plot that has both Steampunk elements and Supernatural elements and it doesn’t seem to know what to do with both of them. In fact the entire story just seems overly complex for something that should have been a straight revenge story with maybe a tinge of the supernatural. Why add the Steampunk elements if you are not going to use them? Why over complicate a simple story with weird deviations? (Weird deviations like snake men. Yeah I don’t get it either) One of the writers (Mark Neveldine) was the man behind Crank, Crank 2 and Gamer. Love these movies or hate them but they had a simple story that drove the plot forward at a rapid pace, oh and they also dealt with revenge elements.
Finally the entire look of the movie is pretty decent, but as with most of the movie it gets hurt thanks to the inconsistent tone. Some scenes can be playing up the goofiness yet then we cut to a cemetery where it’s obviously trying to play up the serious tone. I’m not sure who is really to blame for it all. But there is a sense that something’s were added just to make the scene seem cool rather than add anything to the story.
Okay I’m done with talking about Jonah Hex or that Western Mess. What could have been a very cool movie; something a little different; instead turned out to be a lame knock off of Wild Wild West. Please note what I just said, let those words sink into every cell of your being. I don’t recommend anyone watch this. People looking for the horror or steampunk elements aren’t going to get enough, those after the revenge story are probably going to be bored and those who love westerns are just going to want to watch some Sergio Leone movies to scrub their brains clean. I judge you Jonah Hex and I find you lacking.