Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jonah Hex. C

At only 82 minutes (including credits), Jonah Hex rushes through its material, but it's such a familiar story that we're sort of thankful for it. Here's a film that you can pretty much say you've seen by watching the trailer. It's composed of about the same number of scenes one would expect from a normal two hour Western, except that they are all incredibly brief. Make the point and move on, seems to be the philosophy of screenwriters Neveldine/Taylor (the Crank movies). And this is quite a blessing, for Jonah Hex is not the sort of film one desires to linger with. It's a get in get out picture if there ever was one. Josh Brolin invests a lot in this character, which is understandable because Hex is a classic Western gunslinger much in the vein of Clint Eastwood in Outlaw Josey Wales. Anyone who has a love for the anti-hero cowboy would relish the role of Hex, who sort of takes revenge to another level in this. So Brolin probably took the heavy scar makeup and the hot, dirty costumes with a shrug of indifference. A role like this does not come up often. I'm sure John Malkovich, who plays the villain, had similar reasons for working on the movie. As for Megan Fox, her motives are a little more ambiguous (though her poor acting chops, which in turn relates to a tough sell for serious roles, probably contributed to her appearing in this). She really barely acts at all. Her minimal dialogue is more of a faint mumble, and her character is a complete mystery. I think she only has about four scenes in all. This is based off a DC comic book that first saw print back in 1971, so it comes as no surprise that there is a supernatural element in the film. Hex, because he almost died, can communicate with the dead. He also has some other strange occult experiences, one of which involves a bird flying from his mouth that turns out to be a pretty frightening shot. The only thing that really surprised me about Jonah Hex was the villain, Turnball. He has a deep hatred for the U.S. government, and actually plans on destroying it with weapons of mass destruction. This makes Hex's pursuit of him more than just a personal vendetta. It's a patriotic gesture.

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