' ' Cinema Romantico: Jonah Hex

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jonah Hex

Why did I see a Hollywood summer blockbuster based on a comic about which I know absolutely nothing that had all sorts of production problems? Because I like Josh Brolin and because I think he deserves to be a star (and because I think he deserved the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Milk" more than Heath Ledger for "The Dark Knight", except saying that out loud is heresy and so, using my better judgement, I won't type those words). As the title character - an ex soldier in the confederate army, who, after betraying his commanding officer, Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), by refusing to follow an unethical order, has - as is typical of these situations - his house burned and family massacred and then has his face branded (literally) and is thought to be dead before being brought back to life by some helpful Native American Indians and then wandering the land seeking work as the frontier's best bounty hunter - I realized almost straight away that Josh Brolin is my generation's Robert Mitchum. And that made me realize that Josh Brolin needs to be cast in the Robert Mitchum role opposite my Official Cinematic Crush Sienna Miller in the Jane Greer role in my "Out of the Past" remake that I am currently shopping around Hollywood to utterly no avail. (I'm thinking Val Kilmer for the Kirk Douglas role. But that's not locked in.) Oddly, though, this wasn't my most enormous epiphany during "Jonah Hex", but I'll get to that later. First, the movie!

Jonah Hex has turned bounty hunter only because it is presumed that Quentin Turnbull died in a hotel fire and, thus, no all-important revenge can be had. Except, of course, Quentin Turnbull didn't die in a hotel fire. (Whoops! I meant, SPOILER ALERT!!!) Turnbull and his cohorts have their sights set on constructing (gasp!) "The Weapon" (the words of President Ulysses Grant, played with what appears to be great disinterest by Aidan Quinn) and using it to destroy the Union on its centennial celebration. Once President Grant realizes what Turnbull is up to he enlists the aid of Jonah Hex, currently a wanted man who is shacked up with the requisite hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, Lilah (Megan Fox, who is so vastly out of her element as an actress it's like watching Rick Moranis masquerade as the fourth Ghostbuster). Hex agrees to assist if only because this allows him to exact his long awaited revenge. And so it goes.

The film has a few things going for it - namely, the premise. I like the fact that it feels so much like a futuristic western that is still set in the past (and I dug seeing Washington D.C. with the Washington Monument under construction). It has an absolutely fantastic supporting performance by Michael Fassbender in the typically tame role of The Bad Guy's Main Henchman. What Fassbender does with this stock character is downright amazing. I didn't even know it was him. I stayed for the closing credits to see who the played the part and, ye gods, it was Michael Fassbender. Well done, chap. You made the movie for this viewer. It is also lean and mean, mostly forgoing superfluosness, which I contend is mandatory for action films.

Except none of it is very thrilling. The action in "Jonah Hex" is extraordinarily routine. Nothing captures the eye. Rather than sit forward with anticipation you sink into your seat, disinterested. The story can mine familiar terrain, no problem, but then the additional flourishes need to be inspired. Instead Jonah Hex flees a gigantic explosion behind him not once, not twice, not even three times, but four. Four times! Yet despite the movie's big budget blasé attitude I am so glad I bought a ticket if for the simple reason that I'm certain I discovered Hollywood's greatest unknown secret.

Megan Fox isn't real.

I'm serious. In the wake of "Jonah Hex" I am convinced Megan Fox doesn't actually exist. It's not simply that no real person could possibly act that badly but, well, look at her. Consider her discombobulatingly rail-thin waist and consider her mind-bending, uh, chest area and especially consider the way a soft light seems to emanate from her in every single shot of "Jonah Hex", a soft light you ordinarily see surrounding characters created entirely by.....CGI.

Don't you find it suspicious that Michael Bay "discovered" her? Are we postive his "discovery" wasn't him creating her in a lab? Sure, sure, there is a whole "backstory" on Wikipedia but I'm not buying it. Her first film was "Holiday in the Sun"? Please. Has anyone actually seen this? How can we not be sure Michael Bay didn't create "Holiday in the Sun" himself? How can we not be sure Michael Bay didn't create this whole "backstory". I think she was "bullied and picked on" in middle school to generate empathy. I think he became jealous of how much success his "creation" was having and, thus, invented the whole "feud" to get rid of her. But he couldn't just "kill" her so he allowed her to be used in "Jennifer's Body" (A cheerleader who has a lesbian makeout scene? You're telling me that doesn't have Michael Bay's fingerprints all over it?) and "Jonah Hex" (A prostitute in bustiers? Again, Michael Bay's fingerprints) to throw people off the scent and let her "career" die naturally. Well, you didn't fool me! Oh, I understand the risk I run of exposing this on my blog and that's why if over the next few weeks the many forced references to Sienna Miller and Lady Gaga diminish and reviews praising "The A Team" and "Toy Story 3" pop up you will know that Hollywood came and got me. That's fine. I am willing to sacrifice. Now, everyone, go tell it on the mountain before it's too late!

Megan Fox is the real life S1m0ne.


Castor said...

From the trailer, I always wondered: What the hell happened to Megan Fox's face? I actually thought she had some kind of scar like Jonah Hex because she looked so weird.

Does she know that botox and other cosmetic facial procedures are for older women and not 20-something people???

Nick Prigge said...

This could just be another layer to Michael Bay's ruse. People were asking too many questions about the flawlessness of her face and so he decided to "inject" her with botox. Everyone in Hollywood is doing it! So why not S1m0ne?