Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The main problem with the Jonah Hex movie storyline

It's all right there for everyone to see, right there on the poster in the tagline "Revenge Gets Ugly!" Let me elaborate by examining the characters in the movie vs the characters in the book. Blue is the book, Purple is the movie. First up:

Quentin Turnbull:
  • Book: Plantation Owner
  • Movie: Former Confederate Commander
  • Was father to friend of Jonah Hex
  • Was Commanding officer of Jonah Hex
  • Son died while escaping Union fort, Jonah Hex blamed
  • Son shot by Jonah Hex
  • Prominent man in politics and business for years after war 
  • Faked death in a hotel fire

Jonah Hex:
  • Served in Confederacy and surrendered to the Union
  • Served in Confederacy and went against direct orders of commanding officer
  • Scarred by Indians after perceived violation of tribal rule
  • Scarred by Quentin Turnbull for killing Jeb and then scars self to cover the original branding
  • Years after being a bounty hunter marries Mei Ling, a Chinese woman
  • Shortly after war and prior to being bounty hunter, marries and Indian woman
  • Has a son named Jason
  • Has a son named Travis
  • Mei Ling takes Jason and leaves Jonah
  • Wife and Travis murdered by Turnbull as Jonah watches.
  • Expert marksman
  • Can talk to the dead
  • Spent time with the Apache
  • Saved by the Crow
Revenge as a motive:
  • Quentin Turnbull has vowed to make Jonah pay dearly for the death of Jeb Turnbull
  • Jonah Hex has vowed to make Quentin Turnbull pay dearly for the death of his wife and son
THAT is main problem with the storyline in this film. This movie does not contain Quentin Turnbull, it doesn't contain Jonah Hex. It contains two people that may resemble the characters, but the entire history and motivation of the characters is wrong and inverted. Jonah Hex is a man who has been beaten on by life, has found a narrow ledge of society to walk on but he wants to be left alone. Turnbull is a man deeply ingrained in politics and society and he wants Jonah Hex dead...at least in the books.

In the movie, Turnbull is thought dead, is working outside the bounds of normal society and is trying to destroy the country. Hex appears to have no problems working as a bounty hunter, is vaguely sought after for 'killing' some 'lawmen' but has spent time trying to get his revenge on Turnbull.

The film is not about Jonah Hex, it uses the name as a lame attempt to cash in. The film revealed this when we learned who Tallulah Black was, a hooker (she wasn't), a beautiful woman with flawless skin (she was scarred). We got Tallulah Black in name only. We got a Jonah Hex film in name only.

I'm still waiting for a Jonah Hex film.


Utilityinfielder said...


SallyP said...

Oh yeah. This is why I'm always so leery of books that are made into movies...usually the only thing that they have in common is the title. If you are going to go to the trouble of making a Jonah Hex movie then make it ABOUT Jonah Hex! There is no real reason for dumping all of the rich backstory for a different, and...sadly...inferior plot.