James Helsby

LRE: #23 – Jonah Hex

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Little Red Envelope

In my mailbox this week:
Jonah Hex

Release Year: 2010
Staring: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich

When a former Civil War soldier, is forced to watch as his family is murdered in retribution for stopping a fellow soldier, and son of his commanding officer, from committing an atrocity; a portion of the his soul is reborn as an avenging angel. Will this 2010 film be considered a contemporary classic?

Oh hell no. This was painfully bad. Everything was wrong with it, and it would take more time to explain all the problems than I am willing to invest.

You see, a movie needs to have a good combination of several different aspects; plot, acting, and direction. Inside of each of these three elements are the different components that make up the details. Plot requires script writing. Acting required talent. And directing requires sound equipment.

I just laid out three elements that this movie was lacking. The story was tenuous at best. The plot follows Jonah Hex, who was a former southern soldier who settled down and married after the war was over. But in the opening, we find that Jonah (Brolin) killed Turnbull’s (Malkovich) son Jeb, when Jed was only following an order handed down by Turnbull.

When the time comes that Hex must find Turnbull, Hex’s magical power of talking to the dead is used conveniently. Apparently, this power grants the dead the ability to not only recap their lives, but the lives of anyone whom they ever had contact with. Like a network of strings, or like an overly convenient plot device. Whether this ability existed in the comics, I don’t know. But here it is presented in a way that defers the ability to write a coherent story. Beginning Middle End.

The second element, was acting. While Josh Brolin can most definitely act, as can Malkovich, Megan Fox couldn’t act her way out of a box that was missing all six sides. She brings NOTHING to this movie, other than a physical distraction. But that physical distraction is treated just as such, I don’t think she is used to add anything to the story, other than acting as Hex’s sperm receptacle, Lilah.

The final element, I want to talk about is sound. I know when I reviewed Clash of the Titans, I made a specific point of Mumble-vision. This movie is just as bad, if not worse. While I understand that for Brolin, there were prosthetics and makeup that restricted how much he could emphasize his words, someone had to realize this before the movie was finished. It’s not like there aren’t things that can be done. Voice overs might have worked, but when you film an entire movie talking through gritted teeth; well you can imagine the results. They are as bad as that.

Other than the compositional elements, there is just so much lacking from this movie. I honestly felt no connection to any of the characters, and it seemed like there was no elaboration into the purpose of each. While I don’t need an exposition on everyone, there was at least 5 minutes of watching Hex be magically healed (again) by the Crow Indians. I actually turned to my wife, while Hex started to give mouth-birth to a giant black crow, and asked, “I am getting really tired of this sequence.”

If a person like me gets bored with one of the main moments in the whole movie, then you are doing something wrong. I can watch anything once. But don’t ask me to watch this movie a second time. Not only did I think it was atrocious, but I might say it was the worst movie I have seen this year.

How painful was it: Bad. Really bad. It took 3 nights to watch it, and I couldn’t get it back to the mailbox soon enough.
Rating: 2/10. I love comic book movies, but this was one of the worst I have seen. Acting was sub-par, sound was bad, script was incomprehensible. Don’t waste your time.

The Wife’s Retort: She still isn’t talking to me.

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