JONAH HEX Blu-Ray Review - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • Title: Jonah Hex
  • Rated: R
  • Cast: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett
  • Writer: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
  • Director: Jimmy Hayward
  • Distributor: Warner Home Video
  • Original Year of Release: 2010
  • Extras: See Below
  • Series: Jonah Hex, Jonah Hex

JONAH HEX Blu-Ray Review

"an ordeal in silliness of the highest order"

By Tim Janson     October 27, 2010
Source: Mania


JONAH HEX Blu-Ray Review
© Mania

When reviewing a Blu-Ray or DVD of a film that was universally lambasted during its theatrical release you hope to find that silver lining…some positive aspect that may have been missed. Unfortunately that is not the case with Jonah Hex. Let’s start with the tagline “Based on the legendary DC Comics Character”. You can apply the word legendary to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, etc…but you’d be hard pressed to say it is appropriate in the case of Jonah Hex. At best, this is a third tier “Western” character created at a time when few people were reading Western comics.

 

The Movie

Josh Brolin plays the title role although his origins were drastically changed from the comics. In the film, Hex is a Confederate soldier who betrays his commanding officer Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich) when Turnbull plans to destroy a hospital. Turnbull’s son is killed and in revenge, Turnbull kills Hex’s family and brands his face. Left for dead, He is rescued by a tribe of Native Americans. His near death experience leaves him with the ability to resurrect and speak with the dead. Believing Turnbull died in a fire, Hex becomes a notorious and wanted bounty hunter.

Turnbull is still very much alive and plans to build an 1800’s version of a nuclear weapon to attack the union on the country’s 100th centennial celebration. President Grant (Aidan Quinn) sends soldiers to find Hex and recruit him back into the military in order to stop Turnbull’s plan. Look, didn’t Wild Wild West teach filmmakers that if you’re going to make a Western…make a Western. Not a Sci-fi film set in the West with nuclear cannon balls, horse-mounted Gatling guns, flame-throwers, and crossbow-propelled grenades.

The entire plot is an ordeal in silliness of the highest order. There’s flashbacks to Hex’s past, flashbacks when he talks to the dead, and some inexplicable hallucinations Hex has about a duel to the death with Turnbull. When Hex is nearly killed by Turnbull’s henchmen Burke he is again saved by some Native Americans who just happened to be in the area or perhaps Hex had them on retainer.

The characters are flatter than the comics they are based on…Megan Fox is along for the ride to do no more than look good (and isn’t that act growing old) and play Hex’s love interest in a film that didn’t need a romantic sub-plot. Malkovich is a wonderful actor but this is a cookie-cutter villain role that is beneath an actor of his talent. Perhaps Brolin may be that one silver lining. He does an admirable job of portraying the anti-hero Hex but he simply doesn’t have much to work with.

You have to wonder what Warner Bros and DC are thinking. With 75 years worth of characters and stories we get films like Jonah Hex, The Losers, and Constantine and they can’t even get a decent Superman film off the ground. With a mere 82 minute running time (including end credits) you might think that it’s a breakneck pace but it’s not. There’s more that a couple of moments that will have you slapping your face to keep you awake. And what kind of film has an 82-minute run time outside of kid’s films anyway?

 

Blu-Ray Extras

Deleted Scenes – (5:11) Nothing of great import. There’s an alternate scene where the Union soldiers arrive to recruit Jonah that takes place in the forest rather than in the hotel room. There’s also an eerie scene where Jonah is walking through a cemetery in New Orleans during a parade.

The Inside Story of Jonah Hex (11:00) A look at the history of the Jonah Hex character with interviews with Co-creator Tony DeZuniga, Jimmy Palmiotti, Dan DiDio, Joe Lansdale, and Tim Truman. Looks at the origins in the comics and the more violent approach the creators took with the stories and Hex being an atypical superhero who did whatever he had to do to survive. Follows the character from his creation in the early 1970’s to the futuristic “Hex” series to the Vertigo stories written by Lansdale.

The Weird Western Tales of Jonah Hex - With this mode turned on you can watch the film with pop-up video commentary and interviews with cast and crew. Probably the most enjoyable aspect of the entire Blu-Ray. There’s a wealth of behind the scenes footage, great stories and anecdotes from the set, and interesting interviews. Sometimes the commentary is specific to the scene you’re watching and other times its more background info about the productions. You also get to see a lot of the pre-production artwork that was used to design costumes, makeup, and set pieces.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 9 of 9
1 
littlemikey979 10/27/2010 11:03:01 AM

Is anyone suprised?

Betenoire 10/27/2010 12:53:42 PM

Damn. I heard it was bad but hoped there might be something for genera fans that the mainstream missed. No such luck it seems.

...Megan Fox is still around? I thought she had been taken out back and dumped as her 15 minutes were up 3 years ago.

krathwardroid 10/27/2010 3:54:10 PM

Don't forget, John Malkovich was Galbatorix in the Eragon film, so Jonah Hex isn't the first time he's played a cookie-cutter villain. 

Aside from that, yeah, they used the whole "Wild Wild West" style for this movie, minus the hip-hop references. How could the studio actually believe this would work? It sucks, because Jonah Hex might have been a damn good comic book adaptation. 

8man 10/27/2010 3:58:53 PM

Good review, Tim.  I saw the movie and left disappointed.  This one line says it for me:

Look, didn’t Wild Wild West teach filmmakers that if you’re going to make a Western…make a Western. Not a Sci-fi film set in the West with nuclear cannon balls, horse-mounted Gatling guns, flame-throwers, and crossbow-propelled grenades.

And that is what I wanted; a western film.  I was hoping for Silverado or High Plains Drifter and I got Shit in yer hat!  Damn!  Just redo High Plains Drifter and put Jonah Hex as the main character.  I wanted a couple of good shoot outs, a few bar fights and a hero I could identify with.  It could have been so much more, if they simply used so much less.  Someday, maybe we'll get the Rawhide Kid or Two-Gun Kid or Kid Colt.

Still, a character done poorly is better than not done at all..............

themovielord 10/27/2010 6:52:23 PM

what happened to all that extra footage that was cut? There was this thing I remember hearing about... recut and so fourth for a PG-13 rating... I guess it wasn't even worth it...

 

Pick up the motion comic! Awesome!

hulkster46 10/27/2010 8:47:41 PM

There was an antimated Jonah Hex feature on Batman:Under the Red Hood. And I thought having Thomas Jane,( The Punisher), has the voice of Hex was quite good. Has for seeing the live action version, I didn't. I figure I will wait til the dvd hits the $5 bin at Walmart, like Punisher Warzone - That was a waste of $5.

I agree with Betenoire, I thought Megan Fox was out of the movie star business. She sure cannot act out of anything other then the Transformers movies. I saw her public school message on Youtube some years ago. while it is important too have teachers keep their jobs. She was avoiding giving out autographs too students/fans. Idk if it was staged that way, but it left me thinking that she was very rude. Also, I remembered someone asking her too play WonderWoman. She obviously doesn't read the comics, and commented that WW is a lame character who flies around in an invisible jet.  Nowadays, WW is a complex character trying too find herself in todays society. Her costume has changed and she has a relationship with Bruce Wayne.

Has too who could play WW, I would go with Sophia Bush, she handles comedy and drama very well. Or get an unknown for the role.

warblade100 11/2/2010 7:44:56 PM

 Hollywood need to take a break from making movies and sit  back and learn from the French, Germans, Spanish, Swedes, Danish and so on. I couldn't even finish looking at Jonah Hex because there was no pull factor to the movie at all....boring as hell and dwindling in excitement.;

lracors 11/3/2010 10:22:48 PM

Horrible Review... this film is a huge pile of F F F Holy shit F-

InnerSanctum 11/16/2010 9:43:36 PM

 Saw it with low expectations.  Even that didn't help.  It gets a solid F.  

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