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Time Out New York Project: Issue #769, June 24–30, 2010
Dir. Jimmy Hayward. 2010. PG-13. 80mins. Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender.
All three of you clamoring for a sequel to Wild Wild West have got your wish: Jonah Hex—an adaptation of the DC Comics series about a Western antihero with otherworldly abilities—gives that Fresh Prince–starring disaster from 1999 a run for its wasted money. Occupying a similarly alternate 19th-century universe, Hex (Brolin) is a horribly scarred bounty hunter out for the blood of the man who murdered his family, Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich). But it’s not simply a matter of revenge, since Turnbull has a monomaniacal plan to use an Eli Whitney–invented weapon of mass destruction (a cannonball-hurling side project to the silly ol’ cotton gin) against President Ulysses S. Grant (Aidan Quinn).
What’s a guy who can interrogate the dead to do? Fuck Megan Fox, of course. Then it’s off on a nonsensical progression of adventures that reach their apex when a handy group of Indians—sort of the AAA roadside assistance for the recently deceased—brings Hex back from the beyond. He inhales some digital smoke, coughs up a crow and shouts a Shatneresque “Turnbull!!!” And then? Howzabout a rushed steamboat-of-death finale involving the plastic-bag-loving videographer from American Beauty, Colonel Daniels from The Wire and Gob Bluth from Arrested Development? But by that point you’ll hopefully be passed out from all the pocket-flask shots you’ve swigged to survive this hex of a flick.—Keith Uhlich