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IN SHORT: Awful. [Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and sexual content. 80 minutes]
As we have acknowledged in these pages, time and time again, yours Cranky is a comic book fan. To my parents enduring shame, thosands of the things sit patiently in protective bags, waiting for the day on which they will be sold to bring in the big bucks (Yeah, right.) But for all of those 40 or so years of product from Marvel and DC and Dark Horse and Image, one of the very few characters that I have no knowledge of at all is Jonah Hex.
Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is a confederate soldier whose switched sides mid-battle, during which he killed his best friend. Said friend, Jim Turnbull, was son of confederate general Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). After the war, the general hunted down Hex, brutally murdered the wife and child and branded Hex's face, leaving him to die in the wilderness. There is some incomprehensible yadda yadda in the film about Hex's journey in the underworld, which returned him with the power to converse with others who have died. Hex hunted Turnbull until the general died in a hotel fire. He then continued to live out his life, as a bounty hunter in the Old West.
If that isn't clear enough, don't worry. It will be repeated three times during the course of the Jonah Hex. Said film relates the (big) surprise that Turnbull isn't dead. That he still lives to torture Jonah Hex. That he has also discovered plans for an Eli Whitney (the cotton gin guy) designed super-weapon, which he has constructed and is going to use to set right what was made wrong at Appomatox.
President Grant (Aidan Quinn) dispatches an aide, Lieutenant Grass (Will Arnett) to find Hex, and engage him to take down the general. In exchange, Hex will receive a full pardon for any and all offenses committed either during the war, or in the course of his bounty hunting afterwards. Deal.
With no family left to kill, Turnbull goes after the only woman in Hex's life, a prostitute by the name of Lilah (Megan Fox). It's a stretch for the story, which otherwise includes a lot of people and/or things getting shot and/or exploding, but it's better than sitting through that origin a fourth time.
And a lot of people get shot. And a lot of things get blown up. And we're now making like the film and are repeating what has already been written. For those of you that may still have interest, though, we offers wallpapers from the film, which include Ms. Fox in a corset. While that's worth at least a buck, theoretically, you're not paying for 'em. So . . .
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Jonah Hex, he would have paid . . .
One explosion in the film may have garnered a reaction if we were still of the age where doobies were included in our moviegoing experience. We're not. And you can do that at home, nose to the television set when you rent the bomb.
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