Blu-Ray Review: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox Stumble Through ‘Jonah Hex’

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Modern audiences aren’t stupid enough to fall for lackluster product like “Jonah Hex” in theaters (it barely made over $10 million on a reported $47 million budget and currently hovers around 4.5 on IMDB) but it’s the kind of film that looks appealing on the Blockbuster shelf (or Netflix page). Don’t fall for it. Warner Bros. continues to produce excellent HD video and audio but even they can’t shine this turd into something worth your time. Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0
Television Rating: 1.0/5.0

“Jonah Hex” looks damn good in HD. It’s just a shame that the movie is so awful. It’s a film that feels sloppily thrown together from movies that weren’t so great in the first place. Remember what you didn’t like about “Wild Wild West,” “Ghost Rider,” and “Constantine”? Want to see it all in one movie? It’s a horribly-miscast and painfully-edited train wreck of which the kindest thing that can be said is that it runs under 80 minutes without credits. It’s too short and stupid to be truly horrible.

Jonah Hex was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 12th, 2010
Jonah Hex was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 12th, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Josh Brolin somehow makes it out unscathed by virtue of being the only actor in the film who’s well-cast as the title character, a Civil War soldier who has been horribly scarred and left for dead by the evil Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). In fact, Hex came so close to the other side that he can still communicate with the dead whenever he needs crucial information (not unlike “Pushing Daisies”).

Jonah Hex was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 12th, 2010
Jonah Hex was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 12th, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Believing that Turnbull is dead, Hex gives up his quest for vengeance and becomes a bounty hunter, scouring the countryside looking for bad men to bring to the justice end of his Gatling guns. Hex’s only friend is a blank-faced prostitute named Lilah (Megan Fox), a beautiful girl that is so woefully underdeveloped that she appears to nearly fall asleep until she needs to become a boring plot device. Hex is out hunting bounties while Turnbull and his men (including the great Michael Fassbender) are working to create chaos in the new United States. President Grant (Aidan Quinn) brings in Hex, tells him Turnbull is still alive, and sets him loose to stop the mad man from destroying the country.

The supporting cast of “Jonah Hex” seems thrown together by a random page generator working in IMDB. Wes Bentley? Will Arnett? Tom Wopat!?!? Quinn is horrible, Michael Shannon makes such a brief appearance that most people missed it entirely, and Malkovich is just lazy here. Fox is half-asleep. Only Brolin and Fassbender feel like they had any vested interest in actually making the film.

The performances are bad but they’re a bit hard to gauge through some of the worst editing you will ever see. With rumored reshoots and massive cuts to get a PG-13 rating, “Jonah Hex” looks like it was edited on a DVD player with the chapters on shuffle. It never builds, it is downright incoherent at times, and entire characters (like Shannon’s) are clearly on the cutting room floor (and included in the deleted scenes). Is there any version of “Jonah Hex” with this cast and director that could have worked? Probably not but I have a hard time believing anyone looked at this version and thought, “Yeah, that’ll work.” There’s a new entry in the discussion regarding the worst comic book movies ever made.

Any PG-13 film that is this obviously-reshot and practically a short film is begging for a Blu-ray with a much-longer unrated, extended version that shows what could have been. Such is not the case with this release of “Jonah Hex.” The 5 minutes of deleted scenes are purely filler except for a bit with Michael Shannon that turns his blink-and-you-miss-it role into something more notable and “The Inside Story of Jonah Hex” (10:53) doesn’t really tell the behind-the-scenes tale of a movie that everyone involved is clearly trying to disassociate themselves from. “The Weird Western Tales of Jonah Hex” offers some great interviews that run picture-in-picture but they’re all on-set and don’t hint at the widely-reported problems with the film. Wouldn’t it be remarkable for a director or actor to do a commentary on a film that didn’t work out and explain why? But, then again, it should tell you something that even the people who made “Jonah Hex” didn’t want to watch it again.

“Jonah Hex” stars Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Tom Wopat, Wes Bentley, Aidan Quinn and Michael Shannon. It was written by Neveldine & Taylor and directed by Jimmy Hayward. Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download 10/12! It is rated PG-13 and runs 82 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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