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Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex (2010) – Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images, and sexual content/nudity.

Have you ever really wanted to like a movie, whether because you’re a huge fan of the director or star, and then just couldn’t come up with just one reason to like it?  I remember I had this experience when I had to watch Dead Man for one of my film classes in college.  I figured, heck, it’s directed by Jim Jarmusch and stars Johnny Depp?  I was sure I would enjoy it.  I was wrong.  And in the case of Jimmy Hayward’s Jonah Hex, starring Josh Brolin, I was wrong again.  See, I am a huge fan of Josh Brolin.  Dating back to his film debut in The Goonies, I’ve always considered him one of those underrated actors that deserved more recognition.  As of late he’s been getting the recognition he deserves, so it’s a shame that he chose Jonah Hex as his follow-up film after his Oscar-nominated performance in Milk

Jonah Hex is an ex-Confederate soldier-turned-bounty hunter in the Old West.  His foe in the film is General Quintin Turnbull, played by John Malkovich.  Turnbull made Hex watch his family burn for killing his brother.  Later, we’re told that Turnbull is believed to be dead but is actually in hiding and building some super weapon to destroy the United States.  The story of revenge is there and all the elements of a good movie are there, too.  The film’s cinematography is greatly saturated, but that could be because I watched a digital print of the film.  And the CGI explosions are huge, so clearly they had a nice-sized budget to work with.  However, the execution is where everything goes wrong.  The editing was messy, for one.  When I checked the IMDB page I saw that this film had four editors.  Yes, four.  Why in the world would a film need four editors?  One, yes.  Two, sure.  But four?  And the music was out of touch with the film’s setting.  The film is supposed to be set in the Old West right after the Civil War and yet we’re hearing guitar riffs and rock music.  And then we are introduced to Megan Fox’s character, Lilah, who has no apparent back story but apparently has feelings for Hex, and he for her.  Her character is basically useless and her acting is completely horrible.  The only good thing was that she was only on-screen for maybe fifteen minutes.  And the greatest let-down of all was the final showdown between Hex and Turnbull.  In what was surely supposed to be this huge climatic ending to this tale of revenge, we instead were treated to a very anti-climatic ending. 

The tagline for this film was “Revenge gets ugly.”  Actually, this film was ugly.  I just hope that Josh Brolin can escape this film as unscathed as possible.  I’m still a huge fan of his.  Filmtastic review – 1 1/2 stars.

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  1. belinda
    June 18, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I saw the trailor and really want to watch this movie but now not to sure after reading your review. Paul says that the grafic novel is a good read. He says that the stories are greatly drawn and over all something to pick up and glance at. But guess what you read and see are never the same when it comes to making a movie after a comic book/grafic novel. I may not see it after all.

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