Jonah Hex DVD
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3 comments - What do you think?
January 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm
1: I Love Westerns.2: I`ve been a fan of the character ‘Jonah Hex’ for over 30 years.
In the comics, Jonah Hex caught my interest because of the gritty, hard-edged stories that featured a tough ex-Confederate soldier turned hard-case Bounty Hunter roaming the old West. I won`t belabor the details, but if you want a good idea of the tone of Jonah Hex; most fans liken Clint Eastwood`s “The Outlaw Josie Wales” to practically be a Jonah Hex movie. Jonah Hex would indeed ask the immortal question “You Gonna Pull Those Pistols, Or Whistle Dixie?”
The movie “Jonah Hex”, while somewhat capturing the charaacter`s ‘Attitude’, unfortunately sees fit to muck it up with supernatural underpinnings and the sort of gimmickry that James West would laugh at ( …I mean…c`mon…twin Gatling Guns mounted on a saddle? …a gun that shoots lit sticks of dynamite ?? )
Jonah Hex –the character — was NEVER about gadgets and gimmicks, or Bringing The Dead Back To Life for Q&A sessions.
It`s painfully obvious that the makers of this movie were too timid to risk a straight, hard-edged WESTERN, so they basically threw in everything they could think of to please a teen-age audience …and created A MESS.
Now, I do enjoy so-called ‘Steampunk’ –The afformentioned ‘The Wild Wild West’ tv series is a good example–but the storyline of Jonah Hex The Character just was never about Steampunk.
Neither does the character require supernatural powers to be interesting.
This film has been compared to Sonnenfeld`s 1999 “Wild Wild West”, which managed to take a successful tv series and ruin virtually every aspect that made it a hit. It`s a common trend in Hollywood: “Let`s make a movie of a fan-favorite tv series and change things”….The changes of course are “To make it more appealing to a broader audience” … So the logic is that you want to cash in on a pop classic and yet alter it so that the very people who enjoyed it enough to make it a pop classic will be disgusted ?Hey–Hollywood knows best what people will like…right?
The real tragedy here is that, like James West; Jonah Hex has now been ruined for The Big Screen and likely will never get another shot at that venue.
Of course, film-makers in Hollywood these days have long since lost all faith in the Western genre. It`s too bad…Great characters create fans by being appealing, by being…great. The movie “Jonah Hex” was a twisted take on a great character; twisted to suit the perceived tastes of teenagers who supposedly would not like a solid Western character.
Well….I was a teenager when I became a Jonah Hex fan.
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Josh Brolin is a fine actor and he is the best thing about the movie, but even he seems a little bored with the whole thing at times. He does get some good one-liners along the way. John Malkovich is just here for a paycheck. Talk about a villain that will put you to sleep. His whole evil plan has been done a million times before. We all know Megan Fox looks great, but can she act? The answer is still no. She’s not too bad here, especially when compared with her previous work, but her character is really unnecessary. It also seemed like they enhanced her face with some CGI touch up in certain scenes, as if to make her best asset even more flawless.
The CGI is okay, the music is way too in your face, and the story leaves a lot to be desired, but Jonah Hex doesn’t fall into the abysmal territory of The Wild Wild West. It at least has some relatively fun sequences. It’s just too silly, even though it takes itself way too seriously. Does that make sense? Probably about as much sense as strapping two gatling guns to the sides of your horse, only to never see them again after they worked so well in the opening shootout. I guess the horse tired of lugging them around. Oh, and how stupid were those dynamite crossbows?
But it’s not an unconditional love — the loathing I have for “Jonah Hex” proves it. This movie is a bit like the evil love child of “Wild Wild West” and “Van Helsing,” with all the bloodcurdling stupidity of the former and the flashy steampunky trappings of the latter. Josh Brolin does his best to salvage this messy undercooked stew of cliches, but honestly… there’s no saving this movie.
Jonah Hex (Brolin) was a Confederate soldier who turned against his commander Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), and Turnbull got his revenge by killing Hex’s family, scarring his face and leaving him for dead on a cross. Of course he doesn’t die, but becomes a bounty hunter who can communicate with the dead just by touching them. All this is crammed in the first three minutes.
Then the president recruits him to hunt down Turnbull, who is building “the weapon” that could destroy the entire United States. So he meanders off and brawls with some people, gets some crossbow-guns (what?), and rushes to rescue his favorite hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold (is there any other kind in movies?).
I wish I could give a better summary of the plot in “Jonah Hex,” but that’s kind of like examining the acting talent displayed by Megan Fox — it’s so minimal that you’ll just sprain your brain if you try to actually talk about it. Jonah is traumatized, he shoots people, he gets drafted, he shoots people, he goes searching for Turnbull, he shoots people, and so on and so forth.
Basically there’s not much plot here, so the writers pad it with as many fiery explosions, gunfights and hallucinatory flashbacks as they possibly can. The dialogue is leaden (“Ain’t mah country. Git lost or git dead”), and all the dramatic twists are painfully predictable. As for “the weapon,” it is quite possibly the silliest superweapon I have EVER seen in a movie, short of a giant slingshot. THIS is supposed to be able to bring down a budding superpower?
I’ll give Brolin credit, he does what he can, and he slurs and grinds around his fake facial deformity with convincing grittiness. The problem is, his character’s backstory is so hastily slapped together that it’s hard to care — I mean, it’s sad that his family died, but we barely even SAW them and don’t see much of how he felt. Megan Fox is all flat drawling and vacuous stares, but fortunately she only has a few scenes. During the more dramatic moments you can almost see smoke coming out of her ears.
“Jonah Hex” is all wasted potential — it has pretty much no plot, not much decent acting, and an ending worthy of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Give it a pass.
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