Saturday, June 19, 2010

VLOG 6/19/10: Jonah Hex review

Fun fact: There were only seven other people in the theater besides me, and all in their fifties at least. I'm not even sure what that says.

NOTE: The first few minutes of this have nothing to do with the movie, just some ranting about my latest move, so start at about 2:35 if you want to skip all that.

As you can probably tell, the shear suckitude of this movie left me pretty discombobulated so I left a few things out or unsaid. I don't think I emphasized heavily enough how colossally incoherent & confusing the editing here is. Those who have seen Neveldine/Taylor's films know they favor a hyper-kinetic style of editing. There is a right way to do this, like in their Crank films, and a wrong way. Jonah Hex is a fine example of a third option, known as the fucking wrong way. Apparently Neveldine/Taylor were originally slated to direct but for reasons completely unknown to me were replaced by a guy who's never directed action in his life. Apparently he made the ill-advised attempt to replicate Neveldine/Taylor's style...and failed as utterly as one can fail. I already mentioned the final fight, but there's another good example where Hex is interrogating someone at the aforementioned underground fighting arena. The match is between some thug and this mutant snake/man thing that drinks rattlesnake venom and spits it on his victims. This fight has nothing to do with, well, anything, but the director keeps interrupting the conversation to cut back to it. The most relevance it has is that Hex disposes of the guy by throwing him into the arena.

Another thing I found rather offensive is this one scene were they feel the need to clarify that Jonah Hex never supported slavery, even though it has nothing to do with the conversation. I guess they thought everyone would assume that just because he fought for the south he supported slavery. Hey, you know who else opposed slavery? ROBERT E. FUCKING LEE!!! The Civil War wasn't just about slavery, there were many issues involving State's rights that were at stake! Just because he fought for the Confederates doesn't mean the audience is automatically going to assume he must be a racist, slave owning Klansman! Give your audience some credit for thinking, you ignorant shitheads!

For those comic book purists out there, I'd like to emphasize that I have no problem with taking creative liberties with characters if they work. Some characters have backstories far too complicated to work within a film structure, and arguably Jonah Hex is one of them. I'd also like to say to my fellow Western fans that I also have nothing against introducing supernatural or science fiction elements into a Western setting. I'm actually a big fan of Weird West stories, and Jonah Hex himself has fought against zombies, ghosts, Cthulhu, and even been flung into a post-apocalyptic future to battle robots. In fact, the original script was about fighting zombies and if they'd stuck with that and let Neveldine/Taylor direct, they'd probably have a much better movie.

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