104 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
To begin, please understand two things about me:
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.
67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2010
I knew before sitting down in the theater today that this movie is getting nothing but trashed all over the place by critics, but I always go in with an open mind and usually end up disagreeing with them. Well, that's not the case here. First off, the movie is only 72 minutes long if you take away the end credits. They spent no time developing any of the characters, so I never really cared about any of them. Maybe a director's cut will be released on DVD, because this movie really needed another 30 minutes.
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?
74 of 93 people found the following review helpful
I like steampunk. I like Weird West. I like comic book adaptations. I like movies that bust out of the usual genre cliches.
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.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2010
Don't go into this movie expecting to find well developed characters and a deep/thought provoking storyline. Because, well, it doesn't have either. You know what though? That is just fine.
Sometimes all I really want is some mindless fun. A movie where I don't need to spend too much time analyzing it. Jonah Hex is definitely that kind of movie. It's like a roller coaster, it's fun while it lasts but it won't leave any real lasting effect on you.
Brolin pulls off the haunted/mysterious/bad-ass cowboy perfectly. Malkovich is what he is best at, a creepy villain. And Fox, well, she also does well what she normally does, acts sexy and keeps her dialogue to a minimum. The action sequences are well done, the gun fights are engaging, and the ending is satisfying. So yea, you could say I enjoyed this film.
A lot of people are complaining about the length of it. I am honestly glad it didn't drag itself out too long though. When there isn't much of a storyline, it's pointless to try and stretch it out to make a 2 hour film. Often times what happens is there is a lot of added fluff which just drags the film down. So even though the movie is only 80 minutes long, it's a tight 80 minutes which gets right to the point with everything, storyline, character development, and action sequences.
I would really recommend giving this movie a shot. It's fun. Just pure mindless fun.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2010
I think half the movies Hollywood and Critics rate highly are about 70% crap and the rest good. Also on that note i think half of the movies critics rate as being horrible turn out being great, its all in personal preference. I for one really liked this film, mainly because of Josh Brolin who is great in films like No Country For Old Men, and W. He makes a go of this comic book western and i think he does a good job, for what he's given to work with. Honestly i'm not a Meagan Foxx fan at all, is she pretty, yeah she's decent, can she act, no not really. John Malkovich as a bad guy is a good idea, and he at least fits his "small" but evil role as the sinister bad man. I don't wanna give spoilers but this movie is really easy to follow anyways.
Its just all about Jonah Hex getting revenge for his wife and kids after there death. He basically rides around looking for the men who did so, but there are some very interesting twist on how he does this. He has the power to raise the dead and ask questions, and the way this is executed is very cool, to me. I guess people were just really wanting another X-men, Sin City type comic deal but you don't get that here, not from a story perspective anyways. Josh Brolin to me could definitely be the next Eastwood, he just does the silent, low tone, southern i'm going to gun you down type voice, with the attitude like he just doesnt give a #%#t. So this is just simple film, and actually pretty damn violent for PG-13, just without all the blood. So its a simple comic book western with some good acting, and over the top effects, nothing more, nothing less. And i like it more, than most, i see.:)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2010
It seems that Hollywood has fallen in love with comic book characters once again. Of course Hollywood tends to do so when a genre makes money. The success of BATMAN BEGINS and IRON MAN as well as their sequels has Hollywood realizing fans are willing to pay top dollar when their heroes are done right. But on occasion those in Hollywood still think they can do the original better and anger fans, as was the case with the release of JONAH HEX. But when looked at on its own instead of through fans eyes, this movie isn't all that bad.
Josh Brolin stars as the title character; a Confederate soldier who decided there'd been enough bloodshed, killed his best friend/commander and turned in his fellow soldiers so he could get on with his life. Unfortunately his friends father was a maniacal leader named Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) who didn't take kindly to his son's death of Hex' becoming a traitor. So he burns Hex' wife and child alive while forcing him to watch and brands his face with the letters QT.
Hex survives the ordeal, is rescued by Crow Indians and finds himself with a power to communicate with the dead, apparently due to his near death experience. Revenge escapes him though with Turnbull dies in a fire. Hex, scarred for life inside and out, takes on the role of bloody avenger and becomes the deadliest bounty hunter around, taking out those who would prey on the innocent in the most brutal ways possible. And you learn all this within the first 5-10 minutes of the film!
But this is a movie that last 81 minutes so we need a story. It turns out that Turnbull never really died. Instead, he's been leading a group of mercenary soldiers who still think there's a chance for the south to rise again. So much so that they've discovered a secret weapon the Union had and never put together and are now gathering the pieces to do so. Once built, cities will be set aflame and their cause will bring about a new order in America.
Knowing of his past relationship with Turnbull, President Grant orders Hex be turned lose on his trail and bring Turnbull to justice. In return, Hex will receive a full pardon for any crimes he may have committed as a bounty hunter (like the killing the dirty Sheriff early in the film). Knowing who he's after means Hex cares less about the bounty and more about the man he's pursuing.
Just before being "recruited" to set out after Turnbull we get the chance to meet Hex' girlfriend for lack of a better term. Suffice to say that Lilah (Megan Fox) uses her womanly ways to earn a living in the Wild West. Get it? Good. But she has a soft spot for Hex who passes on the chance to be with Lilah forever because anyone who gets close to Hex has a tendency to end up dead.
As Hex follows leads to find Turnbull, we get to see his abilities come in handy. He questions a recently deceased member of Turnbull's army and later digs up his old friend, Turnbull's son, to get more information that will bring him closer to the living Turnbull. A final confrontation is sure to follow and it does. To find out if Turnbull is successful in bringing down the USA, you'll have to rent or buy the movie.
The movie is beautifully shot and looks great in scene after scene be it the desert, a town out west or an abandoned fort taken over by the bad guys. The special effects, especially when Hex talks to the dead, are top of the line and believable as far as raising the dead goes. And the make up, most notably that used on Hex which involves a sort of hole in the cheek burnt face look, is done to perfection.
Brolin does a solid job as Hex, a man tormented by his past, afraid of his present and uncaring of his future. One risen corpse tells him that they're waiting for him down below but it doesn't seem to faze him. He knows he'll get there eventually but he has work to do on Earth first.
Fox does little more than look good but for the most part I think her fans expect little more than that. Does she have acting ability? Sure, but when your roles all call for you to be scantily clad or topless (not here) then your acting isn't what most people are looking for. I think she has the talent, let's just hope we see more of that instead of skin next time around.
Malkovich does a great job of being the over the top bad guy. Heck, he does a good over the top good guy too (see his performance in RED for that). Here he has little to work with but makes what he has work for him. He's mean as can be and that makes you root more for Hex.
On the whole the movie offers an enjoyable night's entertainment, delivering plenty of action and story to boot. While it may not be the movie die hard comic book fans expected, everyone else will have a good time with it. Give it a rent and afterwards you might even consider adding this one to your collection of westerns.
One last note. In watching this I was expecting something that was one of the most terrible films ever made. The online world has portrayed this film as deserving of a Golden Turkey award. Viewing it from that perspective made the film far more enjoyable and less a struggle than perhaps a fan of the comic series might have with it. Viewed on its own merits as a piece of fluff entertainment, it does a great job.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2011
Despite what seems to be an almost universal panning, I liked this movie. I found Jonah Hex to be a decent hero and his ability to talk to the dead is a nice twist. I liked John Malkovich's bad guy and he plays it to the hilt. Though Megan Fox is still seems to be used for mostly eye candy, she has at least a bit of substance in this movie as Johan's girlfriend.
Compared to some of the comic book adapted movies I've seen, I put this one a notch above, not because it follows the spirit or intent of the comic book, (which I've never read), but because it kept me interested all the way through. Sure, there are probably lots of holes in the plot, veered from the intent of the comic book, whatever, but none of that bothered me. It was worth the DVD rental. Recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2011
"Jonah Hex", though not a great movie, certainly doesn't deserve the invective heaped it's way. If I could nutshell Hex he's a cross between Josey Wales and Bruce Wayne. Some may call the film unremittingly depressing but I found it uncompromisingly true to it's dark vision. Director Jimmy Hayward displays a real sense of style and the film shows real visual artistry. My only real gripe is that the film ends abruptly and it seems somewhat underdeveloped ergo it's economical 82 minute running time which includes credits. Released in the Summer Warners probably thought they had a franchise a la "Ironman". Instead they received a grim revenge tale revolving around a morose disfigured bounty hunter. They probably took the film out of their neophyte director's hands and whittled it down to something they thought was marketable. I would love to see an extended version of the film or see what was left on the cutting room floor. The ad campaign for the film was even confusing. For those with an open mind I would recommend "Jonah Hex" as a rental but not for purchase.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2010
JONAH HEX is not too bad of a film. Maybe the movie-going public isn't ready, or the time isn't right for yet another, sort of, "Revisionist-Western-Film". If one can call it that. The movie is an excercise in film-making, taking a relatively unknown comic-book anti-hero from the stable of DC Comics' characters, and giving it the Hollywood treatment. This reviewer is also a DC Comics fan, but only knows of the "Jonah Hex" character when he appeared in various "guest-starring" roles of other various DC Comics Universe comic books in "time-travel-back-to-the-old-west" stories (i.e JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA), and maybe picked up and thumbed through a couple of issues JONAH HEX or WEIRD WESTERN TALES comics over the years --(In fact, if one is to pick up the current DC Comics mini-series BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE/ISSUE NO.4, Jonah Hex makes an appearance in that!). What makes the film stand out is pretty good casting. Josh Brolin in the title role does an excellent job and is well cast. John Malkovich plays Quentin Turnbull, Jonah Hex's antagonist. Malkovish usually plays (many-a)villians a bit over-the-top, but plays Turnbull pretty much restrained (but still evil). Other surprises in the cast are Tom (THE DUKES OF HAZARD) Wopat, Will Arnett in a non-comedic role as a Civil War Union Officer, the always reliable Aiden Quinn as President Ulysses S. Grant, and Michael Fassbender (so unrecognisable from his Lt. Hicox role in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS) as 'Burk', Turnbull's right-hand-henchman. The plot mixes elements of adventure, revenge, horror, romance, Amercian History, and modern themes of "weapons-of-mass-destruction" in an old-west background and is a little predictable but entertaining nontheless. The movie length itself is slightly under 90 minutes so, [they] didn't try to make it an epic-type-western. The production values of the film are just right (the Jonah Hex make-up on Josh Brolin is pretty seamless). Overall, a film worth a look if one has 80 minutes to kill (and if your a male, it's worth a look if one wants to see Megan Fox playing the saloon girl/prostitute with a heart-of-gold, Tallulah Black).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Never been a fan of western comics, but I have been aware of Jonah Hex. I did like the episodes of Justice League Unlimited that featured Jonah Hex, so I figured I'd give this flick a shot (considering I feel many of the "non-blockbuster" comic films like Watchmen, Punisher: War Zone & Ghost Rider tend to be my fav comic book films).
I thought this film was really good. I liked how Jonah's origin was quick and to the point and presented it partially in animation form.
The thought the acting was really good by the main character and villian. Meagan Fox, well, it certainly wasn't a 5-star performance.
The movie flowed well for clocking in at about 85 minutes. The rockin' score was a cool touch vs. using county hee-haw music.
Jonah Hex is not a well known DC character, yet I think this film did the character justice. I wouldn't even mind a sequel!