Jonah Hex is to film what the chicken nugget is to cuisine. Bland, anonymous, packed with non-nutritious filler, prepared without pride or love, easiest to consume if you’re not paying attention. This is industrially processed entertainment at it cheapest, nastiest and greasiest.
Josh Brolin plays the title character, a Civil War veteran wandering the lawless, chaotic West, where the main activity of daily life is settling old scores. Fight scenes erupt every five minutes. This is not a comment on the Hobbesian brutality of the untamed frontier. The players continually empty the contents of their guns into each other because the filmmakers, recognizing they haven’t given us interesting characters to follow, fear we’ll get bored…read more [StarTribune]
I have no idea what occurred behind the scenes of Jonah Hex, beyond the broad strokes that have been reported. But I do know that the final product is barely a shell of a film, a barely functioning picture that makes it to feature length only through repeated scenes and random thematic detours. At just 73 minutes long without end credits, it is the shortest live-action film I have ever seen in a theater. Heck, many of Warner Bros’ direct-to-DVD DC Comics animated features are longer. Like past films that were heavily-tinkered to no avail in post-production, there is just enough of a kernel of substance and thought to make one mourn the final cut. The failure of Jonah Hex is not a cause for gloating or mockery. It is a tragedy…read more [Huffington Post]
The thriller involves a man named Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin), who is bent on vengeance. During the Civil War, the evil Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) strapped him to a cross and made him watch as a house containing his family was set afire. Then Turnbull branded Jonah’s face with a hot iron, causing difficulties with leaks when he tries to throw back a shot of whiskey. You can see why Jonah would want his revenge. To be sure, Turnbull mutters something about Jonah having previously murdered his family, meaning he isn’t entirely without motive.
Stunk Crick is your standard frontier town with a wide Main Street, a saloon, and a room over the saloon occupied by Lilah, a sexy hooker. The presence of Lilah in the film is easily explained: She is played by Megan Fox. If you want a woman in an old western town, there are only three occupations open to her, hooking, schoolmarming, and anyone called Ma…read more [Roger Ebert]
I feel sorry for everyone involved with Jonah Hex. Firstly there’s the cast stuck in this silly period comic book movie — even the ones required only to play unsettling cartoon versions of themselves (Malkovich), talk miserably through speech-impeding prosthetics (Brolin), or shoot pistols while maintaining optimal period cleavage, in the grand tradition of feisty, old-timey, one-dimensional prostitutes (Megan Fox). Secondly, I feel for director Jimmy Hayward, whose sophomore directing turn will go down as the most chopped up, stitched together Frankenstein job in recent memory. But most of all, I feel sorry for myself for having to sit through the entirety of this schizophrenic shoot ’em up mess of a movie — it’s technically only 75 minutes long, but felt three times longer…read more [Movies.com]
In honor of the soon-to-be-released motion picture which seems to have little in common with the current comic book series that bears its name, the latest issue of Jonah Hex bears a “now a major motion picture” advertisement above the title and comes packaged with a free movie poster. It also features not one but two short stories depicting the disfigured gunslinger in all his unholy glory and would probably serve as a great primer for anyone who saw the film and made their way to the local comic shop… not that anyone actually does that, but if they did, this would be a great issue to start with…read more [Mania.com]
JONAH HEX was scripted and originally set to be directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the maniacs behind the CRANK movies, who departed the project over creative differences and whose berserk stylings might have at least given the incoherent proceedings a nutty charge. Their replacement at the helm was Jimmy Hayward, a former Pixar animator making his live-action feature debut (coincidentally opening the same day as TOY STORY 3, which finds LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE scripter Michael Arndt making the reverse trip far more successfully). Hayward in turn was reportedly supplanted in postproduction by I AM LEGEND director Francis Lawrence, who oversaw reshoots and other doctoring. But the Humpty Dumpty of a movie that has resulted seems to have been put back together without all the necessary pieces; the story doesn’t flow, people and ideas appear and disappear willy-nilly and the big action scenes are perfunctory and undercooked…read more [Fangoria]
In a summer full of remakes and adaptations, you won’t find a film less original than Jonah Hex. Based on the DC comic series of the same name, Jonah Hex is 80 minutes of clichés pasted together into one agonizingly predictable plot.
The eponymous Hex was a soldier in the Confederate army until his regiment was captured and Hex made an unspecified decision that resulted in the death of all his men. Among them was his friend, Jed Turnbull. After the war Jed’s father, Quentin Turnbull, seeking revenge murdered Jonah’s family, branded his face, and left him crucified to die. Rescued and brought back from the brink of death by mystical Indian magic (twice), Hex turns to bounty hunting, convinced that Quentin died in a fire, and cursed with the unnatural ability to speak with corpses. But when the senior Turnbull reappears with a 19th century weapon of mass destruction and dark designs for the Union, Jonah Hex will finally have his turn at revenge…read more [Movies Online]
It admittedly starts off great guns, but all too quickly it becomes apparent that the big-screen arrival of the supernatural Western DC Comics series “Jonah Hex” is firing loud, empty blanks.
Although Josh Brolin is fine and dandy as the Civil War vet-turned-vengeful bounty hunter with one foot in the grave and a horrendously scarred face, the tortured anti-hero isn’t alone when it comes to being cut to the bone…read more [THR]
Some movies seem so blatant an effort to appeal to a specific target audience that they ought to come with a viewers’ advisory warning.
The opening frame of Jonah Hex should say: “Caution: Made expressly for the male teen demographic. Not suitable for anyone of any age who prefers movies with coherence, an original plot or characters they give a hoot about.”
Based on a series from DC Comics, Jonah Hex is about a gunslinging loner hellbent on vengeance for the murders of his wife and son. Lest anyone forget what movie they came to see, characters repeat “Jonah Hex” a couple of dozen times during the course of this inane action flick…read more [USA Today]
The movie transpires in the post-Civil War era, with two ex-Confederate soldiers squaring off against one another. On one side is the twisted General Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who is assembling a doomsday weapon that he intends to turn against Washington D.C. and use to end the presidency of U.S. Grant (Aidan Quinn). On the other side is Jonah Hex, the scarred bounty hunter and ex-subordinate of Turnbull’s whose face bears the marks of a brand wielded by the General on the night he killed Hex’s wife and son. Hex is not an ordinary man, either. Rescued from death by Indian magic, he’s almost impossible to kill and he possesses the ability to speak with the dead. Hex’s lone weakness is a prostitute named Lilah (Megan Fox), who pines for him while entertaining clients. Before he can offer Lilah a better life, however, Hex must settle his score with Turnbull and his sadistic sidekick, Burke (Michael Fassbender)…read more [Reelviews]
Jonah Hex Video Review