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PHOTOGRAPHY

JONAH HEX

Movie review by David Blackwell

 

81 minutes, rated R

ASPECT RATIO:  2.35:1

STUDIO:  Warner Bros. Pictures/ Legendary Pictures/ DC Comics/ Weed Road Pictures

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  6-18-2010

 

STARRING Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex), Megan Fox (Liliah), Michael Fassbender (Burke), John Malkovich (Quentin Turnbull)

WRITTEN by William Farmer, (story credit only), Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, based on the DC comic book series

DIRECTED by Jimmy Hayward

JONAH HEX is a train wreck.  It is a badly edited and directed hack job that is barely coherent.   It is like a movie put together by people who had too much to drink.   Whatever story was there has been edited down to a skeleton- a confused mess with action and not enough to develop the story plot lines.  The plot is jumbled confusion of ideas and the final product is very loosely based on the original source material.   After reading up on the original comic book storylines, JONAH HEX would have been a more interesting film if it followed closer to the comic book and allowed itself to breathe. 

 

 The movie amounts to an ex-Confederate officer turned bounty hunter who seeks to go after the bad guys after his former commander (Quentin Turnbull) burns his family alive and scars his face.  Turnball appears to die in a fire and Hex occasionally visits Liliah, a hooker that is in love with him.  Then Hex discovers Turnbull is alive and he begins his quest for revenge anew as he is out to stop Turnbull from destroying Washington D.C. with a new super weapon.

 

This movie went wrong in so many places.  The origin of Hex isn’t as interesting as the comic book origin.  Then Megan Fox sleepwalks through her role and she wouldn’t be missed if her character wasn’t in the film at all.   John Malkovich seems to be having fun as he chews the scenery.   Brolin isn’t bad as Hex, but I wonder what Thomas Jane would have done with the character (Thomas Jane campaigned for the role down to having himself made up as Hex).   The 81 minute running time is just a cramped together movie that you wonder who edited this film down and you can see why the original directors, Neveldine and Taylor, walked off the project (they helped write the script and you wonder how much their script show through).   The origin story is partly played out in a quickly animated sequence where shooting it live would have worked so much better.   I know some directors and producers love to take comic book source material in weird directions.   RENEGADE (aka BLUEBERRY) is a more coherent Western comic book adaptation than JONAH HEX (despite the peyote trip third act in RENEGADE).   I wished that JONAH HEX was a better film instead of feeling I wanted my last 80 minutes back.   Watch the trailer and skip the film.

 

This movie review is 6-21-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com