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.
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.