Confederate General Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) blames Cavalryman Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) for the death of son so he murders Hex‘s family and brands his face then leaves him to die. He is brought back to life by the mystical magical medicinal powers of his Native American in-laws. Hex is denied his vengeance on Turnbull by reports of Turnbull’s death in a fire so he turns his hand to bounty hunting and spending time in a whorehouse with Lilah (Megan Fox).
It turns out that Turnbull is not dead but is planning terrorist attacks against the United States on its centenary celebrations using a newly designed super-weapon. The President hires Hex to chase down Turnbull to stop him. Because Hex was near death himself he now has the power to touch the dead and talk to them. He uses this to interrogate a couple of corpses and find out Turnbull’s location. It all builds to a climax of the hero battling the villain as the 19th Century steampunk super-weapon counts down to its attack at the heart of United States Government.
Josh Brolin was pretty good as Jonah Hex, but his effort seemed a bit wasted in film that had him playing against Megan Fox. Malcovich played the villain as well as he usually does when he phones it in for a dodgy story. His evil plan is like something from a James Bond story transplanted to the 19th Century and the climax really has more than passing resemblance the climax of those films such as the presence of Smith (Lance Reddick) a version of the Bond film’s Q character and the scene of the penultimate battle with henchman Burke (Michael Fassbender). Hex’s supernatural power seemed a bit tacked on and underused but I am completely unfamiliar with the comic book source of this film. I thought that this film was a watchable piece of nonsense but at times it really seemed a bit rushed and I wonder how much the narration was used to hide cuts.