Okay, I’m not gonna lie: This was not that bad. It had a lot of style, Josh Brolin was pretty great, I loved the dog, and you kind of had me at “paranormal post-Civil War weird west with steampunky overtones.” Granted, the problems were many and varied, but the major ones would’ve been so easy to rectify that it annoys me how no one did.
I’m going to keep my thoughts brief, and put them behind a cut because there will be spoilers. So if you’re reading this through a direct link and you want to keep your eyeballs pure, stop reading now. Otherwise, click the jump below.
1. This movie needed an R rating. Jonah Hex was supposed to be a total balls-to-the-wall weird shoot-em-up action flick with sinister supernatural elements, but the “violence against civilians” (which is intended to establish the villain) is alluded to but never depicted; and even in the boss fights, the camera immediately cuts away to the aftermath. Likewise, if you’re going to deliberately insert Megan Fox into the story in order for her to be sexy, maybe don’t fade to black within two or three seconds of the one time you actually see her kiss the hero. Look, I’m not suggesting that each frame ought to include at least one detonating toddler holding a blind kitten or anything – nor that every moment with Fox on the screen ought to involve writhing, posing, and sexyface deployment … but when every single one of these punches is pulled, it undercuts the whole shebang.
2. Megan Fox’s character served literally no purpose at all. I’m not bagging on her personally; she wasn’t the problem. The problem is that “Lilah” has no reason to exist. I haven’t read the comics, so for all I know it’s a different case therein, but on the big screen this character could’ve been removed wholesale and the story would’ve probably been better for it. I mean, even the obligatory “kidnap the girl to lure him out” move was utter baloney. All the bad guys had to do was hold still for ten minutes. Hex was coming for them anyway! They could’ve kicked back, had a few beers, sent Hex a Hallmark card (“Dear Jonah: Thinking of you, at the following coordinates …”) and he would’ve been there lickity split. No kidnapping of prostitutes required, and I would not be sitting here struggling with myself over whether or not I should mention that there was no good reason for the bad guys to know where she was, but they found her without incident even though she was no longer at the same brothel and had, by the looks of things, maybe moved to Mexico.
3. That pesky space-time continuum. First of all, what year is this again? Supposedly it’s coming up on July 4th, 1876 for the national centennial; but Jonah and Turnbull keep going on about waiting six years for vengeance or whatever with regards to something that happened during the Civil War. Now I’m no math whiz, but something doesn’t add up. Of course, as freshly confessed, I’m no math whiz and I might have missed something. I sure as hell missed how these people were teleporting around from Texas or Mexico (or wherever), Georgia, Charleston SC, and to Washington D.C. as if these places are within spitting distance of one another … despite the fact that the timeline for the story is established early on. Ten days. The president has ten days to stop Turnbull. So all this traveling, in 1876 (or whenever), is taking place by horse (the same horse, mind you) and the horse never once bucks Hex right to the ground and gives him a lecture on how fast a horse can be expected to go and for how long before that horse has had just about enough, thank you very much, and the rider should look into an alternate means of transportation if he’s in such a big freaking hurry.
Anyway. Yes, I believe I said I’d be brief. This wasn’t the briefest of all possibly entries, I realize. But really, those were my only big beefs. Overall, I enjoyed Jonah Hex, and if it wasn’t a great masterpiece of genre cinema, well, that’s okay. I wasn’t expecting one anyway.
All in all I give it a solid C+, or maybe a B- if I grade it on the Wild Wild West curve.