Based on the DC Comic of the same name, Jonah Hex tells the story of a Confederate soldier who turns against his fellows soldiers and disobeys a direct order given by his superior officer, Quinten Turnbull.  The result of which is the death of Turnbull’s son.  Once Hex is reunited with his family, Turnbull shows up and forces Hex to watch as he exacts revenge by killing Hex’s wife and son.  Turnbull then disfigures Hex so that he’ll always remember (not that one could forget that…I’m just saying).  Left for dead, Hex is rescued and brought back from the precipice of death by a Native American tribe.  Hex recovers, but now he has the ability to converse with the dead (a handy skill indeed).  He becomes a bounty hunter hoping to take his own revenge on Turnbull, but believing Turnbull died in a fire, isn’t able to.  It is soon discovered that Turnbull is alive (of course he is)and is planning to unleash hell on the new world.  Under direction of the US government, it’s Hex who must stop it from happening.

To be honest, I’m surprised I even remembered that much of the film. I’m just going to get right to it and break it down.

The Story:
I don’t have any prior knowledge of the comic books or the story of Jonah Hex.  I can only imagine that this may be a good thing.  Not having anything to compare it to means I wouldn’t be upset if it deviates from the source material.  The story seemed straight forward enough but it was so rushed and jumbled that in the end, I really didn’t care who was doing what and why they were doing it.  There wasn’t really any major character development and I wasn’t able to engage with them on any level.  When that happens it makes it hard to give a rip about the story or what’s happening.  They tried to jam in so much exposition in the beginning that I was left shaking my head wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into.  I’m all for fast pacing as long as it’s fast pacing with a purpose.  This film lacked any sense of that.

The Film:
I don’t even know where to start.  First of all as I already stated, the pacing was ridiculous.  One of the other major problems with this film was the editing.  It jumped from scene to scene so fast, you weren’t able to discern what exactly was happening.  While I’m in no hurry to see this film again, I would be interested in seeing an extended cut or directors cut just to see what was left out.  I have a feeling it would show a much more cohesive complete story than what was released.  The acting suffered, the dialogue most definitely suffered and whenever they had a chance to throw in some effects or explosions, they did.  Just for fun.  The film suffers from attention deficit disorder and it’s apparent for the duration.

Clocking in at 80 minutes (including end credits) it’s a jumbled mess that jumps here, there and everywhere leaving you wondering what director Jimmy Hayward was thinking.

The Cast:
Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex was actually a brilliant piece of casting.  He played it to the nines, even thought he really wasn’t given much to work with.  I would actually love to see Brolin in a traditional western because he’s got that gritty quality.  He’s got the look and is also able to speak with the drawl that doesn’t sound forced.  Hollywood, if your listening, make that happen please.  It’s the subtle nuances that make those western types work, and he’s definitely able to pull it off without it being over the top or one note.

Speaking of one note….Megan Fox.  Fox plays the love interest / prostitute Lilah.  I can’t really say why she’s there other than to serve as window dressing or eye candy.  Harsh I know, but her performance was nothing memorable.  The only thing that sticks out for me regarding her performance was her sorry excuse of a southern accent that made an occasional appearance.  Sometimes you heard it, sometimes, not so much.  It threw me back to the good ole days of Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. Ok, maybe that’s a little too harsh, but you get my drift.  I would love to see Fox go the way of Charlize Theron in Monster, just to see if she could pull it off and to see if there is any depth to her at all.

And speaking of depth….John Malkovich.  Malkovich plays Hex’s nemesis, Quinten Turnbull.  Malkovich has shown time and time again that he is one of those actors that have a space reserved for them in the upper echelon of acting.  Even though he’s never won an Oscar (shocking, I know) he has been nominated and has played roles that cover the spectrum.  Here he basically seems to sleep through his entire performance.  It seems like more of a paycheck role than one he put his heart into.  Which is a shame because it really is a waste of his talent.

Michael Fassbender plays Burke, Turnbull’s right hand man.  The scenes with Burke were actually entertaining.  His presence was probably the only other positive aside from Brolin.  The character of Burke was a bit over the top and ruthless and Fassbender played it with a grinning Irishman’s enthusiasm.  It may have been a small bit, but it was effective and entertaining.

In the end Jonah Hex isn’t worth the time, energy or money needed to go see it.  It maybe good enough for a rental.  It could rank as one of those Sunday-afternoon-when-there’s-absolutely-nothing-on films. Quite frankly, the best part of the film was the previews. Being the latest in a long line of comic book adaptions, Jonah Hex should have been left on the page.