PaulRom Reviews: Jonah Hex

PaulRom Reviews: <I>Jonah Hex</i>

Better late than never (or in this case, VERY late). Is Jimmy Hayward's live action debut as bad as everyone says, or is it a severely underrated gem? Hit the jump for my take...

Sorry for being about a year late with this review. I was initially turned off by the critical bashing of DC/Warner Bros' offering last year, Jonah Hex, but I eventually decided to watch it to see just how bad it really was. And for those who haven't noticed, I'm usually generous in my reviewing films (just read my reviews for Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine and you'll understand), but I can't say I'll be very generous with this film.



Jonah Hex picks up a few years after the end of the US Civil War. The family of the title character (Josh Brolin) being burned to death by Quentin Turnball (John Malkovich) to avenge the death of his son (slain by Hex sometime prior to the film's beginning). He then places a permanent mark on Hex's face as a reminder of the events. Hex, having a heart full of vengeance, is determined to avenge the death of his family, and goes on a journey to locate Turnball and kill him. He's accompanied by gun-wielding prostitute Lilah (Megan Fox), and battles enemies such as Burke (Michael Fassbender).

Overall, the biggest problem with Jonah Hex is its atrocious script. So much dialogue felt out of place and unnecessary (such as when Lilah started naming Hex's gun wounds, Hex naming his horse "Horse", etc), it only piles into the empty spots of substance in the film overall (there isn't much substance to begin with). Another problem was the overall scoring of the project. Don't get me wrong - I love rock music, it's probably my favorite genre - but the way it was used in Hex made it seem VERY out of place (the opening title made me feel like I was watching a TV show). It does offer some solid Western scoring, however, but all the rock n' roll that was used didn't offer anything other than making the film feel like I was watching an extended trailer or something.

Another big problem with Jonah Hex is its hit-and-miss acting. Josh Brolin did his best with what he was given, at least bringing a solid appearance of Hex to life on screen. Megan Fox was hot as Lilah, but that's probably the only good thing I can say about her performance. Heck, I wonder why they even included the character in the story to begin with. She doesn't do much other than sling guns, shoot, have sex, sling guns, etc. - not needed in the story at all. I always found John Malkovich to be a respectable actor, but he doesn't do a very good job here, needless to say. His character is a bit too predictable. Not even Michael Fassbender could save the day as perhaps the strongest performance in the film next to Brolin's as Hex. To round out the main cast, Aidan Quinn is decent as President Ulysses S. Grant, and Will Arnett is okay as Lieutenant Grass.

Yet another problem with the film is its (very) short pace. At around 81 minutes, Jonah Hex feels too rushed, with little to no character development and some characters appearing before they're gone in a flash (I even missed Michael Shannon's appearance in the film, his role was that small). For example, it seems like Hex did know Lilah at some point before the film's events, but it doesn't go any farther than that. Why? I don't know, but it only made Lilah's being in the film less acceptable. Also, they should have depicted some of Hex's work in the Civil War before his face was disfigured (about three minutes of random shots in the opening credits weren't enough), because I think it would help Hex seem more likable to the general audience than otherwise.

With all this tearing the film apart, you may wonder if there was anything that I liked about it. Well, the action is undeniably entertaining. Granted, I enjoyed films such as G.I. Joe and Transformers (the first and third one anyways), but none of those seemed to lack as much substance as Jonah Hex. But to be fair, Hex has plenty of edge-of-the-seat action and explosions, but that's probably the only thing that the film really succeeds in.

In the end, I don't think Jonah Hex is quite as bad as people make it out to be, but it isn't saying much. If you've disliked many of DC/WB's films before, this won't change your mind at all. In fact, it'll only strengthen your belief that DC has yet to put out a truly great film other than Superman or Batman.

A handful of solid performances and non-stop action can't excuse Jonah Hex's terrible script, mediocre dialogue, and very short running time/pace.
DISCLAIMER: Comic Book Movie is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Related Headlines
DC UNIVERSE: 10 TV Shows Perfect For The Ambitious Streaming Platform

DC UNIVERSE: 10 TV Shows Perfect For The Ambitious Streaming Platform

Can WB Entertainment's DC Universe streaming platform carve out its own niche while maneuvering around the DC Films Universe, Arrowverse and the other film and televisions shows that already exist?
Acclaimed Directors & Their Perfect Comic-Book Movie Match

Acclaimed Directors & Their Perfect Comic-Book Movie Match

Which comic characters were some of the greatest directors ever born to helm? Find out here
PaulRom Reviews: Jonah Hex

PaulRom Reviews: Jonah Hex

Better late than never (or in this case, VERY late). Is Jimmy Hayward's live action debut as bad as everyone says, or is it a severely underrated gem? Hit the jump for my take...
Latest Headlines
THE WITCHER Season 2 Has Reportedly Cast Rebecca Hanssen As Queen Meve In The Netflix Series

THE WITCHER Season 2 Has Reportedly Cast Rebecca Hanssen As Queen Meve In The Netflix Series

Shooting has resumed on The Witcher in the UK, and it's now being reported that Scottish actress Rebecca Hanssen (A Christmas Carol) has joined the Netflix series as Queen Meve. Read on for details...
THE STAND: Good & Evil Stand Opposed On New Promo Poster For CBS' Stephen King Adaptation

THE STAND: Good & Evil Stand Opposed On New Promo Poster For CBS' Stephen King Adaptation

CBS All Access' re-adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand is set to premiere on December 17, and we now have some new key art featuring the demonic Randall Flagg blocking Mother Abagail's path...
THE MANDALORIAN: [SPOILER] Has An Appropriate Response To Their Debut In Today's Episode

THE MANDALORIAN: [SPOILER] Has An Appropriate Response To Their Debut In Today's Episode

Today's episode of The Mandalorian featured some big surprises for fans of the Star Wars franchise, and one of the show's new stars has now shared an undeniably perfect reaction to what went down...
HAWKEYE: It Looks Like Shooting Will Begin In New York As Soon As Next Week

HAWKEYE: It Looks Like Shooting Will Begin In New York As Soon As Next Week

We may not know who's going to end up playing Kate Bishop in Hawkeye, but we could soon have our first look at the Disney+ series as shooting is expected to kick off in New York sometime next week...
Most Highly Anticipated Comic Book Movies Coming Out In 2021 Ranked

Most Highly Anticipated Comic Book Movies Coming Out In 2021 Ranked

Thanks to all the delays caused by the ongoing pandemic, 2021 is shaping up to be a much different year than we expected for comic book movies, and we're now ranking them from least to most anticipated...
THE MANDALORIAN: Disney+ Removes Jeans Guy From Last Week's Episode Of The Hit Series

THE MANDALORIAN: Disney+ Removes "Jeans Guy" From Last Week's Episode Of The Hit Series

"Jeans Guy" has become an infamous part of The Mandalorian since his inadvertent appearance in last week's episode, but Disney+ has now edited the crew member out of Carl Weathers' debut episode...