Published Jun 18, 2010As far as epic failures go, Jonah Hex is in an elite class. Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, and mangled face, this insultingly inept wad of cinematic trash demonstrates a fundamental mishandling of the source material the likes of which makes Daredevil look like The Dark Knight.
In this mega-hack version, Hex is still a former confederate solider who is seen as a turncoat by General Quentin Turnbull, but the reasoning is stupefying in its brittle idiocy. Turnbull went crazy and started slaughtering innocents (don't worry about reasons, there aren't any) and Hex wouldn't go along for the ride, so he reported Turnbull to the authorities. The mad general's son tried to gun Hex down and died in the process, so of course Turnbull vows vengeance and makes Hex watch while he burns his family alive and brands Hex's face as a mnemonic device (no, that's not entirely how Hex's face gets so pretty).
All of this unfolds in a crappy montage with voiceover muting all of the action before the title drops. Throw in some bad animation to remind us this is a comic property being butchered and then we jump forward to where the tale of stupidity really starts. The mind buckles trying to describe just how many things went wrong with this film. How about dual gatling guns on Hex's horse or a predilection for inexplicable, over the top explosions and fires?
Want more? Since he almost died once, Hex can talk to the dead and every time Hex is mortally wounded, a native tribe conveniently finds him and resurrects him by pouring gunk on the wounds. He then pukes up a crow and goes back to ass kicking, good as new. Oh, and then there's the actual "plot."
Turnbull is a terrorist trying to build a super-weapon and decimate America. The attempts at drama are horribly overwrought and sadly, only Josh Brolin as Hex seems in on the joke. He's a perfect fit for Hex's gritty, wise-ass persona, and Megan Fox fares decently well in a horribly underwritten role, even though she and the rest of the cast are practically begging for direction.
John Malkovich and Michael Fassbender make asses of themselves in extremely campy caricatures of villainy. Will Arnett (Arrested Development) takes great pains to not be funny, while the talents of Lance Reddick (Lost, The Wire) and Wes Bentley (American Beauty) are completely squandered.
Most of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of first-time live action director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), but a special award goes out to whoever hacked Neveldine and Taylor's script into shitty, illogical bits. And the editor. And the out of place metal riffage punctuating the lameness of every other scene.
I could go on, but this should be enough of deter anyone not seeking a cut-rate lobotomy. Did I mention the guns that shoot dynamite? (Warner)