Josh Brolin and John Malkovich star in 'Jonah Hex': movie review

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

Josh Brolin plays the post-Civil War bounty hunter Jonah Hex.

Frank Masi/Warner Bros./AP
'Jonah Hex' scene: John Malkovich, left, and Wes Bentley are shown.
Jamie Trueblood/Warner Bros./AP
'Jonah Hex' scene: Megan Fox, left, and Josh Brolin are shown.

If summer franchise movies continue to recycle comic books, will comic books eventually disappear? Or will movies? Or will they both sail off together?

Such were my thoughts while watching “Jonah Hex,” based on the DC comics series featuring the post-Civil War era drifter and bounty hunter (Josh Brolin) whose face – half of it, anyway – was hideously scarred by his mortal enemy (John Malkovich, who has a patent on playing mortal enemies).

Actually, it’s hard to have any thoughts while watching “Jonah Hex” – the cranium-crushing soundtrack takes care of that.

Brolin manages to come through with a star turn even though he resembles walking beefsteak tartare. Megan Fox, inevitably, turns up as a whore with a heart of fool’s gold, and Aidan Quinn, in a prime piece of miscasting, is President Ulysses S. Grant. (No cigar-chomping here. Is he wearing a nicotine patch?) Other well-known actors are credited, notably Michael Shannon, who barely gets a walk-on.

No doubt he was left on the cutting-room floor. As much as I like Shannon, I’m not complaining. “Jonah Hex,” directed by Jimmy (“Horton Hears A Who”) Hayward, has a running time of about 80 minutes. That’s just about right. Completists will have to wait for the DVD director’s cut. I’m no completist. Grade: C+


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