Famed Antihero Comes to the Big Screen

Isaak Kifle

During the last week of September, funny how time flies, SCOPE’s movie of the week was Jonah Hex. There were some technical difficulties during the Tuesday, September 28 airing that caused a 30 minute delay and a change of rooms, but as a result, the audience got a nice treat: a larger movie screen.

Originally a character in a 1972 DC comic, Jonah Hex first stared in his own self-titled comic in 1977. However, unlike far more well-known DC characters such as Superman, Hex is not your typical shining beacon of purity, instead serving as an early comic book example of an antihero. Rather than the beautiful (and often unrealistically perfect) faces you’d expect, Hex is horribly scarred on one side of his face; the reason is shown in the beginning of the movie, though this, as well as the plot as a whole, differs from the comics. But perhaps what distinguishes him the most from the stereotypical hero is that Jonah Hex isn’t out to help people or obtain glory and honor; he’s out for vengeance.

In the movie, Hex, played by Josh Brolin, is a bounty hunter seeking revenge for the murders of his wife and son. The culprits are Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich), a vicious outlaw, and his right-hand man Burke (Michael Fassbender). President Ulysses Grant (Aidan Quinn) and Lieutenant Grass (Will Arnett) inform Hex that Turnbull had survived a fire that Hex had believed killed him years ago, setting Hex off on his journey. Lastly, he is aided by Lilah (Megan Fox), who serves as the film’s female lead.

Jonah Hex mixes supernatural elements with a 1800s western theme. While lacking super-strength, flight, or other popular superpowers, Hex possesses the ability to communicate with the dead, which is the result of a near death experience he had. However, such a skill is more appropriate for gathering information than fighting. Rather, Hex relies on his fighting skills and proficiency with guns to take down his opponents. This encompasses everything from pistols to explosives, gatling guns and even, in one scene, a crossbow with exploding arrows. What is perhaps even more interesting is the “doomsday device” Quentin Turnbull comes across, though you will have to see the movie to discover what it is.

The plot of Jonah Hex mostly follows standard devices. However, the strength of this movie lies in its action scenes, which are gritty, fast-paced and hard-hitting. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Hex from the comics,  itching for a good action flick, or simply want to see thugs shot with exploding arrows, Jonah Hex will leave you on the edge of your seat. Great movie pick SCOPE!