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Review Jonah Hex (2010): It's pretty unremarkable!

genre: comic book adaptation, western, fantasy

Jonah Hex may be many things, it certainly isn't bad. For the most part, it's a decent watch. The thing is that it doesn't really do much. Before this film, I never even had heard of this character. From the bits of pieces I had gathered on the internet, he does seem like a compelling character. I just don't see him as someone who would tag along with The Flash or Batman. Although I do like his character in Legends of Tomorrow. 

Josh Brolin does what he can to bring life to the character. But he is hindered by a weak story and even poorer characterization. Since Hex in the comic books has no powers, they invented one for this film. He can briefly talk to the dead. It's obviously a very useful power or ability, but at the same time also is an insult to his comic book roots where it's established that he is an exceptional tracker. I assume that he could deduce quite a lot by just looking at a dead body and the death scene. To me that is far more impressive than having a dead body tell you what is going on. I really don't understand why they had invented this ability. Sure, it's pretty cinematic and interesting, but when it detracts from the original character it seems like a stupid move. 

Another questionable change was to deviate from the darker roots and turn the film into a steampunk adventure. I don't know that much about Jonah Hex. But some hotshot must have thought that the genre weird west equals steampunk. Weird West (aka Weird Western) is a term used for the hybrid genres of fantasy Western, horror Western and science fiction Western. I couldn't find that much about Jonah Hex or his enemies using steampunk based weaponry. While I do like it when genres are combined in this regard, it doesn't work. It's too fantastic. I think they had a real opportunity to make an old school western a la The Wild Bunch. Why not have Jonah Hex fight Quentin Turnbull and his gang using fists and guns. And then end the film with a big shoot-out. It at least would have been very fitting and memorable.

I think I watched this film three times now. And every time I had trouble describing what I thought of this film. If I truly thought this was bad, believe me, it would have been real easy for me to shred this film into pieces. Except, it really is not bad. The good cast and short duration ensure that the film does entertain while it lasts. It just doesn't do enough to make itself stand out from other comic book adaptations.

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