Trailer Tuesday: Jonah Hex

How do you know that the American midyear blockbuster season is upon us? Why, Megan Fox is on the big screen all sweaty and sultry of course! Fox co-stars in supernatural Western Jonah Hex, the only comic-to-film adaptation from the Warner-DC Comics stable this year. Josh Brolin stars as the title character, a grim, badly scarred bounty hunter - and quintessential anti-hero.

Now although I've never read a Jonah Hex comic, my understanding of the character and his adventures is that the series is an illustrated Western for mature readers. There's death and rape and alcoholism and mutilation, and all that other fun stuff that goes with living in frontier land. It's no surprise then that the comic isn't regulated by the Comics Code Authority.

The Jonah Hex of the comics refreshingly has no "special" abilities, even if he has on occasion tangled with supernatural creatures like zombies. Hollywood filmmakers however have apparently been unable to resist the urge to "supe" up Hex. So now, having survived death, the character can actually communicate with corpses. He's a 19th Century, disfigured Constantine with a permanent grimace.

The plot of Jonah Hex, the movie, is officially as follows:

Jonah Hex (Brolin) is a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort, a tough and stoic gunslinger who can track down anyone... and anything. Having survived death, Jonah's violent history is steeped in myth and legend, and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the "other side." His only human connection is with Leila (Megan Fox), whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. But Jonah's past is about to catch up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he can't refuse: in exchange for his freedom from the warrants on his head, he must track down and stop the dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). But Turnbull, who is gathering an army and preparing to unleash Hell, is also Jonah's oldest enemy and will stop at nothing until Jonah is dead. Based on the legendary graphic novel, "Jonah Hex" is an epic adventure thriller about one man's personal quest for redemption against the vast canvas of the battle between good and evil.

I've blogged briefly before about the Jonah Hex film adaptation. Now, having watched the trailer, I honestly don't know what to think about the film. It could go either way. It could be lots of fun or it could be a muddled, overblown disaster.

On the positive side, the film apparently has a healthy sense of humour. It also has a great cast. Brolin looks like he turns in a fantastic performance as Hex, and I think Inglourious Basterds' English officer-turned-German spy, Michael Fassbender could be especially fun as villain Turnbull's malicious right hand man.

On the negative side, all those explosions and weird and wonderful weapons (horse mounted gatling guns?!) make me very worried. Like Wild Wild West worried. I can understand why all these elements are there - along with the pumping rock soundtrack - but frankly I'm tired now of trailers that constantly scream at the viewer "Look how hard we're trying to be cool! Isn't this fucking badass?!" And I have to add that I'm always a bit worried when film studios assume audiences are so dumb and ADHD-inflicted that they need a flashback half way through a 2-minute trailer to the trailer's opening scene. John Malkovich is the villain? No way.

So yes, I certainly have my reservations about Jonah Hex. I would feel better if the film received an R-rating - especially since those glimpsed Brolin-Fox sex scenes looked so tantalising. However I do think a lame PG-13 age restriction is far more likely, especially since Warner Bros. swore off R-rated comic book adaptations after Watchmen.

Jonah Hex is releasing in North America on 18 June. South Africans will be able to watch the film from 3 September - almost a full 3 months after the States.


Brandon said…
The connection to Inglorious Basterds is interesting considering the first thing I thought of when Jonah was branded was the swastika carvings from that movie. Not sure why they had to go and throw in a talentless actress like Megan Fox amidst an otherwise great cast. Plenty of attractive girls who can actually act...
Pfangirl said…
I don't think studio execs are particularly bright when it comes to casting, Brandon. They develop serious tunnel vision based on what/who their market research is telling them is popular with young men. If they were casting this one towards the middle of last year - which I suspect they were - it would have been Fox at the top of every list.

Of course, this said, in Jonah Hex Megan Fox is playing a sweaty whore - which is her niche as far as roles go ;)

It's interesting the note though that Fox won't be in Transformers 3. Although I doubt this will happen - given Michael Bay is involved - I think it would make sense to forget vapid, sexy actresses and find a leading lady with substance and acting ability to appear opposite Shia as his love interest.

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