"Jonah Hex." "Joooonah Hex." "Jonah." "Hex." Jonah Heeeeex."
The name was said so many times and so many different ways it is hard to say just how it is supposed to be pronounced. However, that is the least of this movie's problems. It does not have any direction, character, or personality. It has a plot filled with character motivations that either do not make sense or seem out of place. It is littered with miscast actors and other out of place elements like some mysterious (unexplained, mind you), exploding orbs. Yes, you read that right.
Jonah Hex is the sort of movie that sounds good on paper. I am assuming the comic upon which it is based is pretty good, although I cannot definitively say, not having read it. It is a sound concept that seems to have been partially adapted into the excellent yet short lived series Pushing Daisies where the bit it used was executed flawlessly. Add to that a cast that includes the likes of Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Aidan Quinn, Michael Fassbender, and Michael Shannon and it's starting to look like something pretty solid. Of course, the presence of Megan Fox (I know, I know, a lot of people like her, I'm just not one of them) and Will Arnett (who I think is fantastic, just not here) make me scratch my head. Well, Fox's presence I can see, but with Arnett I kept waiting for the punch line that never came.
The trailer, on the other hand, indicates a movie that could be some B-grade fun. An action film with a supernatural edge set in the post-Civil War era West with plenty of bullets, explosives, and quippy one-liners seems perfect for a fun afternoon at the theater. The movie is pretty much a parody of itself — it loses itself amidst the explosions, bullets, quips, and loud rock music score. It gets close to the "so bad it's good" line but does not quite have the juice to go all the way over the edge.
The short feature runs roughly 80 minutes, including credits. That is barely enough time for it to get a head of steam leading up to the climax. I get the feeling there is a considerably longer, but not necessarily better, movie on the cutting room floor. The choppy flow feels like the work of a suit and not the work of an editor. Somebody must have seen something in the film and decided to cut it up in the hopes of making something salvageable. You know, sometimes you get to far along in a project and it becomes too big too fail even when disastrous issues arise during production.