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Jonah Hex: Someone Put A Hex On The Movie

Poor Josh Brolin. In Jonah Hex, the handsome actor steps into his first action role, and all he gets is one long slog of a movie disaster.

More importantly: poor movie-goer who sits through this misguided horse opera. Based on DC’s Civil War-era comic about a scarred bounty hunter-cowboy, the film races this way and that, opening with animation and launching into shoot-em-up turf. There’s blood, there’s bodies and deadliest of all, there’s an evil nemesis named Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who wants to destroy the world.

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Jonah’s life isn’t all bullets and baddies. There’s a resident hot girl, namely a tough-talking prostitute played by Megan Fox. Turnbull gets a sidekick, too: a man named Burke (Michael Fassbender) whose face tattoos suggest a kinship closer to Mike Tyson than his apparent Irish roots.

The movie’s funky mythology awkwardly mixes comic-book magic with Native American tradition. Jonah’s good with guns and trouble, but his true talent is chatting up the dead — which, while creepy, comes in handy on more than one occasion. The film’s other bit of mysticism is more earthy, when the power of a local tribe is revealed with drums, dreams, smoke and CGI.

A-Team

For all its great leading men and sweeping rock ballads, Jonah Hex loses its way somewhere between gunfights and teepees. Apart from Brolin’s strong performance and a cool style, the movie’s real mystique is what went wrong behind the scenes.

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