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Marshall Fine Headshot

Movie Review: Jonah Hex

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You look at a movie like Jonah Hex and wonder whether the Hollywood studio system is really as badly out of whack as British Petroleum's safety record. It's such a colossal waste of time that even thinking about seeing it would squander precious seconds of your life.

How do you explain a movie this dreadful getting made? With Oscar-nominated actors in the cast?

Where did it go wrong? Well, Can we start with the fact that it was directed by the guy who made Horton Hears a Who? Anyone see a problem there?

Yes, I understand how an actor like Josh Brolin gets seduced into playing a role like this: His agent tells him, "Here's the pay-off for years of playing supporting roles - the chance to play a lead, the title role, in a potential tent-pole film based on a comic book. And a huge payday." Sorry, Josh - this tent is terminally moth-eaten.

And John Malkovich? Well, he's apparently got an expensive life in France to maintain, so the chance to play an over-the-top villain in a big-budget studio film must have seemed like an easy paycheck role. Too easy: Malkovich walks through this movie blankly, letting his jowls and stringy hair extensions play the role for him.

This movie apparently cost a lot of money and yet no one seems to have actually read the script before they started. Or maybe it's that they didn't realize how terrible things were until they got it into the editing room - and then it was too late.

That probably accounts for why the film is barely 80 minutes long - including credits. And why actor Michael Shannon has a lengthy bio in the press kit for playing a character that shows up in the film for less than a minute.

This review continues on my website.