Film & TV

Jonah Hex (2010) – Dead Man Talking

Having cheated death, gunslinger and bounty hunter Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) has one foot in the natural world and one in the supernatural. His unusual nature gives him the ability to track down anyone or anything, so the Army makes him an irresistible offer: It will erase the warrants on his head if he will find Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). Turnbull, his oldest enemy, is preparing to unleash hell on Earth and will stop at nothing to kill him.

During the American Civil WarJonah Hex served as a Confederate cavalryman until Turnbull, his commanding officer, ordered him to burn down a hospital. Hex refused, and was forced to kill his best friend, Turnbull’s son Jeb. After the war, Turnbull and his enforcer, Burke (Michael Fassbender), tie up Hex and force him to watch as his house is burned down with his wife and son inside. Turnbull then brands Hex’s face with his initials and leaves him to die. Days later, American Indians revive Jonah with their mystical powers, giving him the ability to temporarily resurrect the dead. When Turnbull apparently dies in a hotel fire, Hex satisfies his hunger for vengeance by turning to bounty hunting and sears the branded side of his face to cover up Turnbull’s initials.

While widely panned by both critics and theater goers, Jonah Hex contains many interesting elements of a Gothic Western. From ravens flying from dying men’s mouths, reanimated corpses and villains sipping absinthe, the film is visually appealing. But it would have been better served to have been delivered as an R rated film, as with many PG-13 movies it seems to view adult life through a child’s eyes.

Jonah HexJonah Hex severely failed at the box office, opening at No. 7 during its debut weekend with only $5,379,365 in 2,825 theaters, averaging $1,904 per theater.

The film was named “Worst Picture” of the year by the Houston Film Critics Society at their 2010 awards ceremony. It was given two nominations at the 31st Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actress (Megan Fox) and Worst Screen Couple (Josh Brolin’s face and Megan Fox’s accent).