Jonah Hex (2010)

I watched this movie when it first came out, and it didn't strike a chord with me in the least, even though I normally like superhero movies. Jonah never really fit into the superhero genre, though - he was like Conan with his roots firmly in the past and his superpowers sufficiently minor and vague that he just doesn't really count. It's more fantasy than anything, really, with magic and technology that shouldn't exist at the time and things like that.

After re-watching this movie, I still didn't like it, but I have a new respect for a lot of it. For example, the acting is generally very, very good. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that Josh Brolin is okay, but he's no powerhouse, and Megan Fox couldn't act her way out of a paper bag. Well, even though they get top billing, and Josh admittedly is on screen for most of the movie, they are upstaged by a couple of the bad guys. Specifically, there's a guy named John Malkovich who plays the main villain, and he has been known to out-act almost everyone he shares the screen with.

He's not the only one who acts the crap out of this movie. Michael Fassbender is the lead henchman of the bad guys. How they managed to get this guy for the role, I have no idea, but he has a fantastic Irish accent and some very strange tattoos, but he makes a minor character worth watching. Honestly, the supporting cast did a much better job than the grimacing and menacing Josh Brolin does with the misshaped face of Jonah Hex. Yes, the prosthetic that they made him wear probably limited his acting options, so I'll say he did fine, but he didn't make the role his.

The costumes are elaborate and the special effects aren't that bad. Yes, you have the usual inconsistencies and the horse-mounted Gatling guns that appear from nowhere and fully automatic mini crossbows with explosive arrows that detonate with some kind of proximity sensors. But all of that is just window dressing that would add to a good movie or, in most circumstances, just be ignored. The real problem is the simplistic story and the unrelatable characters.

You would think that a Western with a guy who can talk to the dead and is basically unkillable is a no-brainer for an easy win. Instead, we have this really hard to believe story and these not entirely explained powers and a stupid origin story and (aside from the aforementioned supporting cast) fairly forgettable characters. Pile on top of that the whore played by Megan Fox who is strangely fully clothed all the time and only once ever actually had a male caller (and, again, she has no idea how to act) and you really start to stink up the screen. Add in explosions for no good reason, random violence without emotional investment, and a hero who appears to have no soul or remorse about anything, and who really cares? Even the action sequences are directed and edited pretty terribly.

Direction was not good
Editing was not good
Acting was mixed
Story was not good
Dialog was lousy

Bottom Line: Talent squandered.



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