Jonah Hex - TV Review

'if you can explain what the hell the lizard man/thing is or how it fits into this world then you're a smarter man than both I and Hayward, who by that point seems to have given up caring'

'Approach with mildly curious caution', the label on the Jonah Hex box should say. What other film can you watch where the editing process was so liberally unrestrained that the final product was cut to just eighty-one minutes? Or where Michael Shannon appears for one single shot? Or where Jeffrey Dean Morgan can be glimpsed in a un-credited cameo as a corpse. Or where the make-up departments one instruction regarding Megan Fox must surely have read, 'sweaty'. There's an odd world in here and for all the film's faults it's an odd world worth exploring for the curious, albeit with that 'caution' ringing in your ears.

The caution comes from the fact that this is, of course, complete drivel. It opens with a riff on the 'get three coffins ready' segment of A Fistful Of Dollars, suggesting director Jimmy Hayward might want to pay homage to the comic book's Western influences. A moment later, Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) pulls out a crank operated machine gun with all the grace of a robotic, leprous, ballet dancer, suggesting that the truth is that Hayward might actually be more interested in crapping all over the genre than aspiring to it.

Fundamental errors plague the plot throughout. If you can believe Brolin and Fox as a couple then you need to see more romances. If you haven't seen John Malkovich do this sort of half-baked villain shtick before, rent Con Air. If you can explain what the hell the lizard man/thing is or how it fits into this world then you're a smarter man than both I and Hayward, who by that point seems to have given up caring. It's a veritable collection of things that don't work; misfires, flaws and judgements based on the flimsiest of grounds.

But for all the problems there is something that draws you in. Car crash film-making, to coin a cliché. There's also a glimpse of what Michael Fassbender might do, given the chance to turn his hand to a properly cracked, couldn't-care-less-if-he-kills-you-and-everyone-else, villain; delicious in hints. The resounding lesson Jonah Hex leaves is one of caution to comic books and the film-makers scrambling to adapt them. Not every one of them deserves, merits or, quite simple, needs to be a film. Batman this ain't.

Jonah Hex was playing on Sky Movies. It is available to watch there and online via Sky Go for users with an appropriate subscription.

Look further...

'scene after scene becomes this wash of poorly written dialogue and over-the-top acting that completely justifies my initial question: is this worse than Wild Wild West?' - gmanReviews, 2/10


  1. Me and @slackercinema went to see this at the cinema, I remember we came out and we were pretty confused about the whole thing! There were a lot of good actors in tiny parts. Will Arnett was another random one!
    Great review!

  2. This was a total mess. I cannot believe that Brolin stooped so low in his career to star in this!! It is like soooooooooooo many movies in that it could and should have been so much more.
    It left me aghast at how awful it was.....well I thought it awful anyway! I'm glad I didn't see it in a theatre as it saved me 8 bucks by renting it on DVD instead.

  3. The score by Mastodon was alright, if you ask me. Everything else royally sucked!

  4. littlemissy145 - it's bizarre. I don't understand the logic of cutting down so many talented people so much. Even if you, as the director, think the film is a dud I don't see how that helps it.

    BRENT - I think one of the things it shows is that tone is really important. They got it all wrong in the opening moments and the film never recovered from its very campy overtones.

    Sebastian - I can't remember one bit of the score. I think my brain was numb from the rest of it.