"Jonah Hex" a Chef Boyardee Spaghetti Western

Bracingly inept, Chef Boyardee spaghetti western Jonah Hex is the rare 80-minute movie that you can’t even call “taut.”

Rather than teasing out curiosity about its outcast hero’s past, Jonahpelts the viewer with clumps of exposition, including a hasty comic-book-graphic origin montage illustrating the strange case of Hex (Josh Brolin), a former Confederate war machine whose near-death experience gave him the ability to talk to the departed—hardly utilized ormeaningful, given the movie’s fatuous killing.

We catch up with Hex roaming the steampunk Wild (Wild) West, now a heavy-ordinance bounty hunter with his face half-melted into a permanent growl, a reminder of the former commanding officer, Turnbull, who destroyed his life (played by John Malkovich, pulling his purring villain off the shelf). It’s 1876, and guess-who is plotting to construct a sort-of Doomsday Merrimackto sail into the Chesapeake Bay and level Washington, D.C., for President Grant’s July 4th Centenary address.

Grudgingly tapped to save the Union, Jonah gets help from strategic Black Friend gadgeteer Lance Reddick and strumpet galpal Megan Fox, who looks like she’s waiting for the invention of clear heels. Metal outfit Mastodon’s soundtrack riffs never lock down a groove with the image, interesting actors flit by barely used, and franchise ambitions quietly expire.

 
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