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Jonah Hex Works

Published June 17, 2010 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros
Jonah Hex Poster Jonah Hex
I really liked Jonah Hex. I liked it so much, I really want to see the rest of it. It can’t really be a 75 minute movie, right? Maybe they figured that was the audience threshold for looking at that face with a hole in the cheek. I know they did reshoots and tinkering, but there’s got to be a full movie in there somewhere. They’re going to try to call it 82 minutes but that’s bullsh*t. There are 7 minutes of credits and that doesn’t count. There’s only 75 minutes of actual movie in there, and I’m not complaining.

Review: Jonah Hex

As pure, quick exploitation it totally works though. It’s a hard rock western with stringy guitar themes, classic cowboy scenes and a grizzled voiceover. It’s standard Eastwood with his dead family trauma but it takes a mythic level with Hex’s super powers. He can talk to the dead and they explain that power as it helps him get information on the plot.

These bad guys really need to be stopped too. After killing Hex’s family, they bomb a whole train full of people. They’re all dead. They take out some entire towns too, so this is just reluctant hero action duty.

He can dodge bullets, his horse is pimped out with double gattling guns and all his western tech is cool. He has super speed thanks to editing that just cuts right to the point of Hex’s actions. The climax gets a little bit rough and scrappy, like they didn’t quite have an idea so they just blew everything up. There’s a lame CGI super explosion too but we’ve forgiven a lot worse.

The kills are good, pretty creative and brutal. He also shoots first and doesn’t bother with tough guy banter, kind of like Han Solo (for the kids who read this one day, Han Solo was a character in <B>Star Wars</b> who shot an alien dead out of the blue. You wouldn’t know that if you see the current edition of Star Wars.)

I’m just amazed they actually let someone make a Hollywood movie with a hero who’s got a hole in his face. It’s one thing for a villain to be that deformed. A hero can be scarred, but a gaping hole? They use it too, so it really feels like they’re getting away with something. Most audiences probably won’t want to see a guy with a mouth hole, but I like it.

It’s beautifully filmed too. The red clay scenes in the afterlife will look fabulous on Blu Ray and the drawn art scenes give a comic book feel. You do get to see a little bit of good looking Josh Brolin at first and in a few flashbacks.

Maybe it only works because it’s 75 minutes. That’s the sweet spot for high energy breezing through any story weaknesses. At this running time, we pretty much get all action, so maybe that’s the good parts. The director’s cut (potentially running a whopping 90 minutes) might just slow it down with extra talking. I’ll still watch it though. I like this grindhouse version so Jonah Hex will probably fall into my rotation at some point.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros

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