2010 Running time: 81 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3

Synopsis

DC Comics' disfigured and supernaturally vengeful Civil War veteran Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) is recruited by the US Army to track down his old nemesis Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) - the man who murdered his family. However, the wily old terrorist-before-his-time has a formidable weapon at his disposal... and he plans to bring the new state of the union down. Horton Hears A Who director Jimmy Hayward makes his action debut with this fast-moving, explosion-littered tale of bitter revenge. Saloon floozy Megan Fox comes along for the ride.

Director

  • Jimmy Hayward

Cast

  • Josh Brolin

  • John Malkovich

  • Megan Fox

  • Michael Fassbender

  • Michael Shannon

Review

American Civil War veteran Jonah Hex is not just a pretty face. Well, he's not a pretty face to kick off with.

Every time he slugs a shot of red-eye it sluices through a hole in his mutilated cheek, the hideous result of a red hot branding iron scar administered by outlaw Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich), the evil SOB who torched Jonah's family alive.

Narrowly escaping death at the hands of the psychotic Turnbull (who later dies in a hotel fire), Hex is nursed back to health by American Indians while a brush with death leaves him with supernatural powers - if he touches a corpse he can talk to dead people.

Decked out in Confederate garb (although he despises their racist doctrine), he now earns his keep as a bounty hunter, a drifter whose saddle is armed with two vast gatling guns that he conceals beneath his tattered cape.

However, his world is turned upside-down when he learns from a posse of US Army riders sent out to recruit him that Turnbull ain't dead...and is planning an atrocity against the new Union with the aid of a sort of WMD - the "nation-killer."

Despite dying a death at the American box office, there's enough to enjoy in this cartoonish tale of Hex, who is persuasively played by Brolin as a monosyllabic killing machine, a dust-coated psychopath whose powers veer towards the otherworldy.

Malkovich's absinthe-swilling maniac does good genocide even if most of Megan Fox's scenes as the wasp-waisted bordello girl with the key to Jonah's scarred heart appear to have fallen by the wayside.

Nevertheless, there's plenty of bangs for your buck - check out the dynamite-heavy ambush of a steam locomotive in the opening sequence.

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