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Starring: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Will Arnett
Writers: Neveldine/Taylor
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

So...Jonah Hex was a movie. Standing at barely 80 minutes, it manages to cram a whole bunch of ridiculous action, stupid dialogue, and weird plot twists into one giant mess of a movie. If you have read any of the Justin Gray/Jimmy Palmiotti-penned comic books featuring this character then you know how sad this really is.

Josh Brolin stars as the title character, a former Confederate solider who abandoned his duties after being asked to burn down a hospital to make a statement. While leaving, he murders his best friend, who happens to be the son of Confederate general Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). Turnbull gains revenge by tying up Hex and burning his family alive. As an added insult, he brands Hex right on the face with the initials "QT" so he never forgets. He then left tied up as Turnbull and his evil cronies leave.

This would probably kill any normal man, but this is a movie and Hex is nursed back to health by Crow Indians. Now with a hideous burn on his face (after removing the "QT" brand), Hex has taken to bounty hunting and unfunny one-liners. He also seems to have another power; it turns out that almost dying has given him the power to talk to the dead by touching them. He'll need their help too, because while he once thought Turnbull to be dead, he's still alive and he has become a homegrown terrorist. His plot? To use a secret weapon invented by Eli Whitney Sr. (of Cotton Gin fame) for the purpose of destroying Washington D.C. and by proxy, America. Hex is recruited by the U.S. Army to take Turnbull down, but Hex doesn't really need them because he is a one man killing machine. Oh, and he also has a thing for prostitute Lilah (Megan Fox) because there needs to be a romantic sub-plot...even though he's avenging the death of his wife and son.

It pains me to talk bad about Jonah Hex because I love the character. He is a brooding lost soul who may be brutal, but he also has a moral code most of us could only dream about. Here, he's just a man out for revenge who likes to say funny things while shooting people. And these things are not funny. At all. There's at least four times that Brolin makes the attempt to tell some sort of glib joke, but it doesn't work and it's painful.

Speaking of painful, the acting in Jonah Hex is atrocious. Brolin does an okay job, but everyone else...oh boy. Malkovich splits his time between overacting and underacting, while slipping in and out of a horrible Southern accent. Megan Fox unfortunately keeps her horrible Southern accent and throws in her trademark bad acting. I get it Hollywood, she's pretty, but that doesn't mean she has to talk. Will Arnett shows up for about five minutes total, and you can't help but feel bad for the guy. The only one who does anything remotely interesting is Michael Fassbender, who plays Turnball's Irish second in command Burke. He is a goofy villain, but he is the right amount and if it had just been a fight between him and Hex, this movie would have been a lot better.

Now, I love explosions. I even love mindless violence; the kicker is, it needs to be done right. Here, it just feels stupid. Everything explodes or lights on fire, and the secret weapon amounts to a giant cannon that shoots normal looking cannonballs and then a fluorescent orange one that ignites them and creates a nuclear-like blast. Not really that intimidating. The fighting scenes are uninteresting, as are the shootouts.

Hex's talking to the dead routine also feels tacked on and kind of unnecessary to the whole movie. If Jonah Hex cut out that little bit, then the movie wouldn't have been changed at all. And although it's only 80 minutes, it feels like it could have been cut even more. There is a lot thrown in, mostly of the useless kind, and with so much flying at you at once, the movie's pacing is slow as molasses. In fact, I feel like the people behind this knew it and right before the climax, it snaps right out of it and fast forwards a little bit as if to make up for lost time.

The character of Jonah Hex is something that could make for a good movie, not this cartoonish dumb poor excuse for an action film. It's short, but it feels even longer, and it's filled to the brim with horrible dialogue, acting, action, effects, you name it. Despite Brolin's decent performances and some interesting visuals, there is not much to like about this on a normal moviegoer level. However, if you love to laugh at absurdly bad films, it may be worth a watch just to kill time. Just make sure you and your friends are alone in the theater (judging from the midnight crowd, that won't be hard), so you can rip it apart because you're going to want to.

Final Verdict:
D




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