Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jonah Hex

Is there something on my face?
So Jonah Hex was a character created by DC Comics in 1971 and was a horrifically scarred Civil War veteran turned bounty hunter. His foes and problems were not fantastic in any way other than that they were based in the past. Then comes the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Hex we were introduced to is erased only to be reimagined years later as a horrifically scarred bounty hunter in the Weird West with zombies and monsters and weird science ala Wild Wild West. And thankfully, the Weird West version of Jonah Hex is where the movie takes it's inspiration from.

Jonah Hex was a Confederate cavalry officer who betrayed his unit to the Union after their commander, one General Quentin Turnbull, planned an attack on civilians which led to the commanders son being killed during capture. Turnbull, who evaded capture, tracked Hex down after the war, burned his wife and son alive in front of Hex and melted half of his face leaving him for dead. Hex survives after being treated by a Native American shaman but he forever exists in a state between life and death, allowing him to communicate and interact with the dead. And now, Hex makes a living as a bounty hunter and is always on the look out for Turnbull and his gang. Lucky for us, Turnbull has plans to steal a doomsday device designed by Eli Whitney (yeah, the cotton gin guy) and plans to blow up Washington DC on July 4th, and it's up to our intrepid anti-hero Hex to save the day which he of course does.

I think he has Yggdrasil tattooed on his chin.
So this movie got hammered in theaters taking in less than $11 Million and with an estimated production cost of $47 Million, I doubt that we'll ever see a sequel to it. That being said, it actually had a lot going for it in two of it's actors, Josh Brolin as Hex and Michael Fassbender as the devilish henchman Burke. Brolin delivers a performance that's equal parts Man With No Name and Roger Murtagh, Hex feels like a character who is weary of the world and just wants to finally lie down and rest but is driven forward by honor or vengeance... I don't think anyone can really be sure why he continues on only that he will. And Fassbender's Burke is just a nonchallant monster, equally likely to give you a light for your smoke as he would be to cut your throat. It's really a shame that most of the interractions between these two characters are in action scenes because I would love to see some real acting between them.

She's dressed like this
the ENTIRE film!
And now for the downside. John Malkovich and Megan Fox are just completely awful in this movie. Actually, strike that. Megan Fox is completely awful in this. Malkovich is just Malkovich, and there are few actors I want to watch play themselves over and over and over again. But Holy Hell, Megan Fox's character Lilah is not only badly written and costumed, but there is no attempt on Megan Fox's part to act at all. Her delivered dialogue sounds like is was done on a sound stage after filming had wrapped. I'd like to think that id her character had been cut out of the film entirely, the movie might have done better. One can hope. Maybe when they reboot the film in 2019.

Even with all of the negatives, there is still some good story and very good acting going on in this film. Just block out the bad bits, like that trip you took to Tijuana.

Rating: B-

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