Jonah Hex Reviews: A Film As Mangled As Hex’s Face

Film is already being thrashed by critics and comic-books fans

Today, what was supposed to be one of this summer’s biggest winners at the box office, arrives in US theaters and, from what early reviews are saying, it may perform much worse than anticipated. “Jonah Hex,” starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich, tells the story of a former confederate soldier turned bounty hunter who can talk to the dead and is out to get his revenge.

Based on the popular DC comics, the film has all the premises to be a blockbuster, early reviews say. Sadly, it seems in too much of a rush to come to the end to actually use all that – while also succumbing to useless Hollywood norms, which prevent it from being fun, critics say. What’s even worse is that there are many times when it becomes painfully clear that “Hex” could have been a great action flick. The rest of the time, though, it’s just a mangled pic, just as badly as the main character’s face.

“Not unlike Ghost Rider, Jonah Hex takes a gothic, moody, western-inspired comic book, and eliminates all traces of subtlety in the awkward transition to the big screen. Josh Brolin does the pizza-faced bounty hunter justice, but pretty much everyone else involved – including Megan Fox – lets him down. What’s ultra-frustrating about Jonah Hex is that you can catch glimpses, every now and then, of the better movie this could have been. Brolin takes the part seriously without being too humorless, and while Malkovich may be a tad miscast, he gives the role a level of realism that the movie doesn’t merit. Less effective, unsurprisingly, is Megan Fox as Hex’s favorite [woman], but it doesn't help matters that she appears to have been given a digital facelift in every close-up,” E! Online writes in a review of the film.

Collider agrees that the film is far from the quality action picture it could have been. There are pretty solid acting performances (Brolin and Malkovich, to be more precise), certain elements that usually go in the making of blockbusters, and many cool things that usually make the delight of comic-book fans, like Hex’s crossbow-guns that fire dynamite and a machine gun strapped on a horse. Sadly, because of too much editing, a rather inspired script and poor direction (and some bad acting as well, mostly on Fox’s behalf), all these great things go up in smoke as the film runs on the big screen, Collider believes.

“Among Hex’s talents are the ability to raise a dead man from his grave long enough to have a chat, and the good manners to talk nicely to his horse. Brolin discharges his comic-book duties manfully (if by manful you mean with a perpetual, squint, growl, scar-tissued sneer, and a tendency to peer out below the brim of his hat like a cowboy Princess Di). But the star is done in by the deathless mediocrity of the production, an assemblage of random camera shots, messy editing, redundant scenes, and witless dialogue as haphazardly stitched together as the flesh on Jonah Hex’s face,” EW also writes.

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