Wednesday 16 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Despite its A-list cast and...

Despite its A-list cast and awesome comic potential, 'Jonah Hex' is vexingly bad

Mike Robertson June 24th, 2010

It's difficult, if not impossible, to predict whether a movie will be good or bad. Sometimes you hear about a movie that just sounds stupid ("Avatar" comes to mind), and then it makes a billion dollar...

It's difficult, if not impossible, to predict whether a movie will be good or bad. Sometimes you hear about a movie that just sounds stupid ("Avatar" comes to mind), and then it makes a billion dollars.

And then sometimes a movie has an OK premise and reputable actors, but turns out to be the equivalent of a bloated possum corpse wedged in a storm drain.

"Jonah Hex" actually sounded kind of interesting. It probably was never going to be great, but it could've been entertaining in a goofy sort of way. Instead, it turned out like " well, like a bloated possum corpse wedged in a storm drain.

Set in 1876, "Jonah Hex" is based on a DC Comics character from the early 1970s. In his original incarnation, Hex was just a typical Western gun for hire with a horrific facial scar he got after being banished from his adopted Apache tribe.

In the movie, Hex (Josh Brolin, "Milk") has a facial scar, but its origins are Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich, "Burn After Reading"), Hex's former confederate commander in the Civil War. During the war, Turnbull took to murdering civilians, a practice Hex couldn't stomach. For his "treason," Turnbull makes Hex watch while he murders his family, and then brands his face.

Close to death, Hex is nursed back to life by a tribe of magical American Indians. They use their powerful "medicine" to heal him, which has unintended consequences. Hex comes away with the ability to animate the dead by touching them, which gives him an information-gathering edge. Hex didn't originally have any supernatural superpowers, so one can only assume the writers stole this idea from the now-defunct "Pushing Daisies." While that wouldn't have been so bad in itself, the device is underused, and barely serves the plot.

After a number of years, Hex is informed by Lt. Grass (the improbably cast and totally misused Will Arnett, "When In Rome") that Turnbull is planning to use a super-weapon for some kind of terrorist operation. Joined by Lilah (Megan Fox, "Jennifer's Body"), his Whore with the Heart of Gold, Hex sets out to stop Turnbull and revenge his family.

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what went wrong with this movie. It has Brolin and Malkovich, a pair that should have been able to anchor even the most unhinged script. There are better leading ladies than Fox, but she's far from the worst.

The most likely culprit is director Jimmy Hayward, whose only other credit is "Horton Hears a Who!," which isn't the greatest example of storytelling prowess, either. Whoever is at fault, "Jonah Hex" suffers from a bad case of narrative randomness. It's as if the movie was much longer, but was chopped down to a spare 80 minutes by what could only be a coked-out studio executive.

Whatever. It's really just so half-assed that it doesn't even bear much scrutiny. Not to mention the whole "magic Indian" thing is offensive, clichéd, pointless and lazy. As a punishment, the writers and Hayward should be donkey punched by Sergio Leone's ghost. "Mike Robertson
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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