Reviewed by: Michael Karounos
Death in the Bible
Is there an actual place called “Hell”? Answer
Why was Hell made? Answer
Is there anyone in Hell today? Answer
Will there literally be a burning fire in Hell? Answer
What should you be willing to do to stay out of Hell? Answer
How can a God of love send anybody to Hell? Answer
What if I don’t believe in Hell? Answer
THE GOOD NEWS—How to be saved from Hell. Answer
REVENGE—Love replaces hatred—former israeli soldier and an ex-PLO fighter prove peace is possible-but only with Jesus
|Featuring:||Megan Fox (Leila), Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex), John Malkovich (Turnbull), Will Arnett, Michael Fassbender (Burke), Seth Gabel, Julia Jones (Cassie), Aidan Quinn (President McKinley), Thomas Lennon (Annoying Customer), Michael Shannon (Doc Cross Williams), Lance Reddick, David Patrick Kelly (Prospector), Brandi Coleman (Olean), John Gallagher Jr. (Second Lieutenant Evan), Matt Lasky ('Dead' Turnbull Prisoner), See all »|
|Director:||Jimmy Hayward—“Horton Hears a Who!”,|
|Producer:||Legendary Pictures, DC Entertainment, Kerry Foster, Akiva Goldsman, John Goldstone, Elishia Holmes, Jon Jashni, Andrew Lazar, Ravi D. Mehta, Richard Middleton, Gregory Noveck, Greg Silverman, Thomas Tull|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Jonah Hex” is based on the comic book series from the 1970s and resembles the general plot outline of “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is a confederate soldier who betrays his general, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), rather than massacre a hospital full of innocent people. The captured men, including Turnbull’s son, are executed, and Turnbull exacts his own revenge by forcing Hex to watch his wife and son being burned alive. The rest of the movie is an extended chase sequence punctuated by periodic séances in which Hex restores dead men to painful life so that he can interrogate them.
The premise of the plot is that Turnbull seeks to destroy the Union on its 100th birthday using a weapon of mass destruction whose nature is unexplained, but appears to be nuclear (don’t ask). Although Hex fought on the Confederate side, we learn that he wasn’t for either secession or slavery; he just hated government. This message is echoed at the end of the movie when Hex is told “America needs a sheriff” and is offered a sheriff’s badge. Hex responds: “I don’t think countries have sheriffs.” Hex’s libertarian stance is anti-government and anti-political: “All of them,” he says, “on both sides is just a bunch of hypocrites.”
The movie is a narrative disaster, with little character development and is too short, in spite of the frequent flashbacks and surreal scenes. What little interest the plot contains derives from the common movie theme of “revenge as justice.” Whether in “The Count of Monte Cristo” or “Gladiator” or any number of other films, the basis for revenge is violation of the family. The consequences of the pursuit of vengeance is self-condemnation, as the voice-over explains: “They say when a man is bent on revenge he should dig two graves: one for the man he kills and one for himself.”
One of the men he awakens says, “I’ve been watching you both from down there, and it’s getting so I can’t tell the difference.” When Hex tells him he just kills to ease the pain, the dead man responds, “Sounds a hell of a lot like being damned.”
It’s a bad movie with once famous actors on the downward slope of their careers. The only positive aspect of the movie is that it at least recognized the difference between good and evil and portrayed the U.S. Army and President Grant as a moral force trying to keep the union together. Ultimately, that message may be what the writers and director wished to communicate: union between red and blue must be preserved at all costs. Few people would disagree, although a different telling of the movie might locate the societal mechanism of mass destruction as coming not from a weapon but from Washington itself.
Rent it from Redbox if you must, but please don’t waste your money on it since I already did that for you.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.