Jonah Hex is not the worst movie of the year. It’s far from that and I think it succeeds at what it is – a summer movie. We tend to expect huge jaw-dropping blockbusters in the summer because we’ve been spoiled. Generally speaking, the greatest movies we see during the year come out during the summer months. Because of this we lose sight of what a summer movie really is… just something to do. It’s entertainment and it’s nice to get out of the heat for a while. I’m not saying a movie is allowed to suck just because we were bored and needed an escape for 90 minutes. I’m only saying we shouldn’t criticize movies too harsh when it doesn’t live up to summer standards.
Jonah Hex has plenty of faults, but it’s not terrible. Like I said, it is what it is and I quite liked it. The action, the brief moments of comedy, and the special effects are all decent. I’ve always liked Josh Brolin and he’s pretty good as the vengeful titular cowboy. I’ve always liked Megan Fox as well and she’s not as bad as I would have thought. She’s cute and pulls off a relatively convincing southern twang. Both actors do well in their action sequences and have some nice chemistry.
Now, if you’ve got nothing else to do this weekend and don’t feel like standing in line for Knight and Day or Toy Story, see this movie. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. However, this movie can easily wait for video and I’m guessing that since it’s getting such bad reviews, Jonah Hex will be on DVD soon.
I’ll only highlight a couple things I disliked about Jonah Hex, because I really don’t want to dissuade anyone from seeing it. First of all, Josh Brolin’s make up is cheap. We’re supposed to believe that from a branding “accident” he is badly burned and has a hole in his cheek. To me it just looks like they put a piece of string cheese over his lip. It’s rather distracting… and disgusting.
Jonah Hex also severely lacked development. The writer spent very little time on his characters. Maybe they thought followers of the original comic already had enough information, but I’d never actually heard of the this book. The villain Quinton Turnbull, played by John Malkovich, is the most one-dimensional. There is little to no back story, so we don’t really know why he wants to destroy the country. Other than a shocking intro scene where Turnbull murders Jonah's family, we don't see much of their history together so any meeting between the two if them isn't very interesting. Plus, and I don’t think I’ve ever said this, Malkovich really phones this one in. He’s played some crazy guys before, so I really expected something more menacing. In Jonah Hex he’s just kind of “Grrr! I’m a bad guy! Okay, where’s my paycheck?”
The last thing I’ll mention is that the supernatural theme is a bit off here. We see that Jonah almost dies at the villain’s hands and because of this, he can speak to the dead. It’s a pretty cool concept and most of the time it works. However, there is another power that I don’t understand at all. It has something to do with dreams or the subconscious mind or something. Jonah is told in a dream sequence that his “unfinished business” is fighting and defeating the Turnbull. Ok so that’s cool I guess. But then we have to see the dream sequence again edited in with their actual fight at the end. That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and was a little annoying.
Despite a few problems, Jonah Hex is an okay movie. I enjoyed it. If you go into it not expecting too much, you may enjoy it too. As I said, don’t rush out to see it. If you’ve got nothing better to do, check it out. What else are you gonna do with your summer? Hang out at the Gas n Sip?
3 comic covers