By Patrick Bérubé
November 21, 2010 - 08:40
Studios: Warner Bros
Writer(s): Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Starring: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich
Directed by: Jimmy Hayward
Produced by: Akiva Goldsman
Running Time: 81 min.
When Jonah Hex, a confederate soldier, betrays his own platoon instead obeying an order to burn down a hospital full of civilians he does not suspect the repercussion of this move. After the war his family his killed by those same men he betrayed and he is left for dead to rot tied on a cross. But vengeance is a powerful motivation to stays alive and with the help of native Americans he will escape death with a newfound ability to speak with the dead. His quest for vengeance begins with Quentin Turnbull, the leader of the gang who destroyed his life but he will soon be recruited by the U.S. government because it seems that Mr. Z is also on the road to vengeance and he intends to take action against his own country, now run by the former Union.
Before going further with this review I have to mention that there are so many wrong things with this movie that it would be hard to name them all here. I will attempt to do it but keep in mind that if it failed at the box office it wasn't because we could not see Josh Brolin's pretty face as the studio claimed. If we start with the story, it is an odd mix of western, supernatural, action and steampunk. I am aware that in the comic book (because it is an adaptation by the way) there were two eras to the character. In the ‘70s it was more of a straightforward western story, while in the ‘90s writer Tim Truman introduced a supernatural side to his background. Both had great moments but mixing them in this movie did not result in a successful experience.
The acting also suffers from a couple of problems. The biggest one is probably Jonah Hex's scar, which disables any facial expression movie star Josh Brolin could have. Add to that a weak (as acting goes) supporting cast and you pretty much get a feeling that everyone is taking this movie as an in-between job before moving to something else more interesting. Even Megan Fox's look or the great John Malkovich can't seem to overcome that. Maybe with proper dialogues things could have been different. Others notable aspects of the movie that also lack consistency are the soundtrack and the lighting.
Oddly however, when you add up all these flaws together you don't get the expected gigantic failure. I might say that because I had heard so much bad stuff about this movie that I was expecting something far worse. I still mildly enjoyed it and if I can say for sure that I won't watch it again it wasn't a painful experience either.
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