Jonah Hex DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover for Jonah Hex is a strange one.  It looks pretty cool with Josh Brolin and Megan Fox looking tough, and a smaller John Malkovich at the bottom, but it fails to show the scars on Jonah Hex’s face (which I admit might put people a bit off), but is a big part of the movie.  The cover does have a cartoon like feel, but it just feels a bit too basic for this movie.  Like the movie, it just could have been a bit more, if that makes sense.  The menu is a static menu, of the same ilk.

Features: 2/10

  • Additional Scenes – The only features on the DVD are a few deleted scenes.  While the scenes themselves are decent (the graveyard scene should have been in the movie in my opinion, to explain Hex’s connection to the dead a bit more, and help the viewer connect with the character a bit) the fact that there is basically nothing included says a bunch about this release.

The Movie: 5/10
Jonah Hex is a movie based on a Western comic book from the 1970s.  I for one was not familiar with it, although I was never a huge comic book junkie.  Jonah (Josh Brolin) has a beef with Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), who kills Hex’s family in front of him, for killing Turnbull’s son, who was ultimately a turncoat.  Turnbull then takes a red hot poker iron and scars Hex’s face, to give him a daily reminder of his pain.

The event does not kill Hex, but puts him close to death, and upon his life being saved by indians, his brush with the afterworld leaves him with an uncanny mystical connection to the dead, who he apparently can converse with.  The result is an interesting angle that really is only brushed upon in the movie, which is a shame, as there could have been so much more done with this.  Interestingly, there is a bit of comic book art used to tell the story of Hex as he is close to death, that I thought was a cool addition, but they fail to use the same effect anywhere in the rest of the movie.

Hex decides that he will become a bounty hunter, to take out those who do evil upon hearing about Turnbull’s death in a supposed hotel fire.  The truth is that Turnbull is not dead, and is in fact working on creating a weapon that can bye used to destroy the new America, as President Ulysses S. Grant is forced with the prospect of protecting the nation.  Grant turns his hopes, and those of the country, to Hex, who is more than happy on doing what he can to seek his revenge on the man who destroyed his life.

Brolin is a decent actor, and he does a fair job at making Jonah Hex appear to be a true American bad-ass.  The issue with this movie is that there is not a lot of character development on screen to make the viewer empathize with him (apart from the initial scene.)  It is hard to get behind Hex, as he is likeable, but a bit unexplained.  The same can’t be said for Malkovich as Turnbull, who to me seemed uninterested.  He was a baddie, but there was no heart to it, which kind of lacked through the whole movie.  It was not that this was a bad movie, as the cinematography was good, and the pacing was decent, but there just was not a lot to it.  Megan Fox plays a hooker Lilah, who is close with Hex, but she is not really in the movie all that much, and seems underused.

Overall Jonah Hex was a fair movie, without a whole lot of heart.  The story did fly by, but there was a lot more that seemed missing here, leaving one to wonder what could have been.  Brolin is a real saving grace here, as his acting was decent, but the rest of the movie just was lacking something.

Audio & Video: 7/10
The video on this standard DVD was really pretty decent.  The cinematography was overall pretty well done, with some nice overheads shots that were unexpected, and really helped the movie break away from a standard shoot-em-up, and give the movie a more comic book-like appeal.  The visuals are pretty good, and I only noticed some issues with the range of blacks, as a lot of the movie features night shots.  There was a grainy feel to the film that suited the old west scenery and feel of the movie.

The audio was very very bright and full of bass.  It was pretty impressive in surround.  I will note that I thought some of the dialogue was too soft and got lost in places, but overall it was a pretty good mix.

Value: 4/10
The standard DVD release of Jonah Hex is a bare bones, no frill release.  The movie did not do so great at the box office, and despite good, big name actors, there just is nothing here to keep your interest.  I thought the movie was better than many have made it out to be, but it is not something I will pick up again, even though some of the scenes were well done.  Jonah Hex is just not the type of movie that will keep you hooked.

Overall Score 4/10