Jonah Hex (2010)
Directed by: Jimmy Hayward
Written by: Brian Taylor, John Albano, Mark Neveldine, Tony DeZuniga, William Farmer
Starring: John Malkovich, Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Wes Bentley
So, is this so-called shambles of a film truly as bad as all the reviews would have you believe? I’d like to answer that question like this, if director Jimmy Hayward cannot be bothered to complete what could and should have been a great comic book adaptation, then I don’t feel I should be wasting my time writing a review. However, I feel I must, and for one reason alone, to warn potential viewers of the dangers of watching this, it just might put you off films for life. Yes, it IS that bad and after switching this off after ten minutes the first time, it took me two days to finish the damned thing.
Jonah Hex is a cowboy whose family is murdered by John Malkovich’s apparent bad guy Quentin Turnbull. I say apparent because he does not convince, in fact, considering Malcovich’s talent as an actor, here he just seems to be passing the time until his next film. When Jonah Hex’s family is murdered, well, burned alive (nice) Hex is scarred for life by having his face burnt. This leaves unfortunate Josh Brolin to walk around with the daftest looking make-up I have seen for ages. I know it’s part of Hex’s character, but maybe if I actually cared about the person I would feel pity. Sadly, even Josh Brolin gives his worst ever performance, mumbling his voiceover to the point of having to put on the subtitles, and just wandering aimlessly through the film with barely any intent. It’s as if all the actors got together and decided to give their worst ever performances knowing this film would go down in history as one of the worst ever! Why not then, why not just make everything about this film as crap as humanly possible, at least that way it would avoid any embarrassment to the normally superb actors on offer here. It’s either that or the director just gave up and said just do what the hell you want.
Hex goes out for revenge and comically shudders and shouts at people who mention Turnbull’s name. Oh, and for some god forsaken reason, he can talk to the dead, hurrah!!! That’s really your plot, Hex out for revenge and Turnbull attempting to create a super weapon so he can take over the world. Had the film been finished properly, it may actually have been rather good. Moments shine through of what the film could have been, some fight scenes and gun battles are actually very well put together and Hex comes up with some original ideas of how to kill off bad guys. The music works very well in places and some of the camera shots are cleverly executed. Shame then, that the film is just such a mess.
The running time is barely 1 hour and 20 minutes and yet in places I got bored! However, at the opposite end of the scale, the short running time means the whole thing shifts along at a very fast pace and never really stops for anything. It gets boring because everyone seems so bloody uninterested in their parts. Nothing really flows properly and it’s clear a good hour has been cut, and had it possibly been used, just maybe this film may have worked. The old west style setting looks more like a stage play set and doesn’t feel authentic at all. Sadly, the biggest highlight is when we enter a local brothel, head upstairs, open the door and find Megan Fox’s Lilah getting dressed. Megan Fox looks stunning, and even attempts to actually act by putting on a painful accent. Her screen time is sadly limited, but at least the director knew exactly how to use here good looks.
I can’t imagine anyone involved in this disaster will put it on their CV. It’s a terrible terrible film that just lacks any care or want to be good. It just drifts along, casually telling a story and each scene feels like it was just put there with no intention of it linking the plot or leading to the climax. The climax is actually not bad, with big battles and explosions; it’s just whether you actually have the patience to get that far.