109 of 128 people found the following review helpful
JONAH HEXED BY HOLLYWOOD HUBRIS,
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.
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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 14, 2010 5:11:07 PM PDT
W. B. Klein says:
Well written and entertaining review. Thanks.
Posted on Oct 16, 2010 10:46:42 AM PDT
"Hollywood Hubris"!! Yah, baby, yah. Say no more! Good review.
Posted on Oct 22, 2010 1:30:50 PM PDT
Dashing Diva says:
Don't lose hope...they remade The Hulk twice after the first was such a disaster. From what I can tell Jonah Hex was a pretty well like character and seems REALLY interesting...maybe they'll do a sequel and go the route of Twilight and ditch the writers and directors from the first go around. (Didn't help Twitlight, but here's hoping it'll help this one!)
Posted on Nov 12, 2010 7:17:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2010 7:24:14 AM PST
Mark Lahren says:
Damn. I was a huge Hex fan in the 70's, and had high hopes when I heard this movie was being made.
I should have known better. Doesn't even sound as if it's worth a rental, since the changes they made altered the entire intent of the original creators. They should have just given it an entirely different title and been done with it.
Great review, even though you are the bearer of bad news.
Posted on Nov 16, 2010 1:48:59 PM PST
You can't give Hollywood all the blame. If DC comics wanted it to stay a true western, they could've made sure that it did or that it didn't get done.
I actually went in hoping it was more than just a western & I grew up watching John Wayne, Bonanza, Alias Smith & Jones, Branded & others since my father was a big western fan. Part of me thinks there's so much of that material out there that that's partly why we don't need any more. There's plenty of it out there for those who want to watch it. Today's technology isn't needed to make it any better either so why try to compete with the masterpieces of the past?
I've often said I feel like Arnold Schwartzenegger is like the "current" day John Wayne. I guess I've grown to like the Sci-Fi element so much that the old western movies kinda bore me but that's maybe just me.
Posted on Nov 22, 2010 12:06:41 PM PST
Completely agree, was a huge fan as a kid as well. I didn't understand why it couldn't have a simple script akin to 3:10 to Yuma. Jonah hunting a bad guy and goes around shooting people ie The Proposition. Bad guy with a weapon that could destroy the world that's a James Bond movie. I just hope they don't decide to make an Unknown Soldier movie.
Posted on Nov 24, 2010 6:37:22 AM PST
W.T. Keeton says:
Great review. By the way, the DC animated Jonah Hex short is a MUCH better effort at adapting Hex. If you haven't already, give it a try!
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2011 4:54:47 AM PST
Oh, I saw that...It`s EXCELLENT !
Pretty sad that a Hollywood production with $47 mill to play with is sooo inferior to an animated short.
Posted on Feb 23, 2011 4:59:27 PM PST
Right on bruthah! EXCELLENT review!
Posted on Apr 27, 2011 9:18:25 PM PDT
meat chunks says:
Im back to watching a classic eastwood movie it's more entertaining!