For those of you who love it when comic book movies come out and blow the socks off you like Iron Man or The Dark Knight, you have to know that it comes at a price. What cost do we have to pay for such fun at the cinemas? It's called Jonah Hex. This represents many, many, many subpar, horrible, unknown comic books and graphic novels that movie studios have gobbled up in hopes of cashing in on the next big thing. At this point you can guarantee that Batman or X-Men will bring in a crowd but movies like 300 prove that you never know when one that no one has ever heard of outside the geeky basements of comic book fans will make hundreds of millions of dollars. The movie studio that bought the rights to DC Comics' John Albano and Tony DeZuniga comic, Jonah Hex, knew somewhere during filming that this was not going to be "the next big thing." That's why they cut the film down to such a short runtime that I can't remember the last live-action, non-children's movie I saw that was this short. It came in at about 75 minutes long, which still, AMAZINGLY, dragged. Even more amazing than that though was the number of respectable actors they got to agree to be in this crap. Not just respectable, but actors associated with Oscars! Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, W) plays the title character and he's joined by John Malkovic (In the Line of Fire, Being John Malkovic), Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Bug) who has two freaking lines, Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds), Will Arnet (30 Rock, Blades of Steel) and Megan Fox...okay maybe not everyone is so impressive. How did this happen? The production value seems relatively high considering it's a period piece that takes place right after The Civil War. But the script is as disfigured as Jonah Hex's face. The direction is from Jimmy Hayward who is also from good stock. He was from the ranks of Pixar and this was his first live action film. It was almost as if the movie was made and the studio had zero faith in it, so they sliced and diced it until it was a puny 75 minutes, cut their losses and shoved it out there. I'm not going to say it's a shame that this happened though. This was an example of a movie that probably should have stayed on the pages of the comic books and was never brought to life. It's a pretty mindless story of confusing revenge, that mixes the paranormal with history in a tale that's pitiful and painful. There are moments of action that got my pulse elevated to the equivilant of a brisk walk. I'm also a Civil War junkie and loved the post-war world the characters lived in. However the overall product called Jonah Hex will definitely be the black mark on most of these actors' resumes and, yes, that even includes Megan Fox.
Jonah Hex (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: D