The popular comic book adaptation Jonah Hex is the latest to make it to the big screen. Unfortunately, it's an extremely choppy and poor adaptation. The story is really simple, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is out for revenge after Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) kills his wife and son. He scars Hex and fakes his own death. But after a train robbery orchestrated by Turnbull, Hex learns that his arch enemy is still alive. Hex has the ability to talk to the dead, so he uses this trick to locate Turnbull. Along the way he re-unites with prositute Lilah (Megan Fox) After Turnbull steals a powerful weapon from the Union, he plans to destroy America with it and Jonah Hex must get revenge on Turnbull while also saving the country.
When I first heard that they were making a Jona Hex movie, I was very excited because the comic books have so much vivid cinematic potential. Well, all of that rich potential is just wasted here. The direction is really off and just bizarre. It's well known that this film had some production troubles and went through a ton of reshoots, and it's painfully clear while watching this film. The action is really bland and unexciting. The opening action scene is actually quite good, but it's very brief and seems to be heavily edited down. Much of the violence and death are off-screen, they don't show any of the blood or brutal nature that really defined the Jonah Hex comics. The slow motion explosions are excessive in this film. A character will literally throw a match at something and it blows up into a mushroom cloud in this movie, it's just bizzare. The story is inconhesive and utterly terrible. Their are so many wasted characters in this film that serve absolutely no purpose to the film at all. The most obvious is Megan Fox's prositute Lilah. She has one scene with Jonah Hex, and the she's kidnapped by Turnbull because he wants to lure Hex. But the funny thing is, he doesn't even come to rescue her because he has no idea that she has been kidnapped. Huh? It's really mind-boggling how unfocused and horrible the screenplay and direction are. This has to be one of the worst Hollywood productions of recent. Actually, I take that back, I forgot about that other film. (The Last Airbender)
Now, let's get to the acting. Their is only one good performance in this film, and that's Josh Brolin. He's actually quite effective and solid as Jonah Hex, but the story and the supporting cast doesn't give him anything to work with. It's really unfortunate, Brolin is a perfect Jonah Hex. Megan Fox's performance is horrible as expected, but she's quite nice to look at in this film, so I guess her purpose was served. Michael Fassbender is way to over the top and annoying. You really have no idea what he was trying to do to the character and that being said, his character serves absolutely no purpose to the story at all. Will Arnett takes a break from his comedic characters and decides to give a serious character a try. I don't want to be overly harsh, but it really feels out of place. Just looking at the guy you want to laugh, you can't take him seriously. John Malkovich is decent, but he's done this role so many times before. He doesn't take it to any new heights and it comes off as a really contrived and cliched villian performance.
I was really disapointed by this cinematic failure. With Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex and a rich comic book series, this could have been a great film. But it's ruined by poor acting, dreadful direction, and a truly juvenile and sloppy script.