The Worst DC Superhero Movie Is Now One Of Streaming’s Most Popular

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

josh brolin jonah hex

Four years before Josh Brolin made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), the No Country For Old Men star premiered another film inspired by a popular comic book, only this became a movie fans were quick to forget. Jonah Hex was a box office failure for Warner Bros. Pictures, only garnering $11 million after a $47 million budget. But while this DC movie may have flopped on the silver screen, it’s thriving on streaming as it’s currently in the top 10 films on Amazon Prime, according to Flix Patrol.

The critical and commercial flop Jonah Hex, based on the DC Comics character, is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Jonah Hex, the 2010 American Western superhero film based on the DC Comics character, brought together an intriguing blend of supernatural elements, a star-studded cast, and a unique take on the Western genre.

Directed by Jimmy Hayward in his live-action debut, the film stars Josh Brolin as the disfigured bounty hunter Jonah Hex, John Malkovich as the ruthless antagonist Quentin Turnbull, and Megan Fox as Lilah Black, Jonah’s love interest. Despite its high expectations, the movie was demolished by critics and was quickly forgotten about until now.

The movie introduces us to Jonah Hex, a Confederate soldier who defies an order to burn down a hospital, leading to the tragic death of his best friend, Jeb Turnbull, son of his commanding officer Quentin Turnbull.

Hex is left for dead but is miraculously healed by the Crow people, gaining the ability to communicate with the dead. Turnbull, believing Hex to be dead, later kills Jonah’s family and disfigures his face, setting the stage for Hex’s journey of vengeance.

Jonah Hex transforms into a bounty hunter with one goal: revenge on Turnbull.

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Josh Brolin in Jonah Hex (2010)

Jonah Hex transforms into a bounty hunter with one goal: revenge on Turnbull. In 1876, Turnbull hijacks a train carrying components of an experimental weapon, intending to use it to attack the U.S. on the Fourth of July. President Grant enlists Hex’s help to stop Turnbull, leading him to embark on an adventurous quest across the country as Hex finally gets closer to his goal.

The film’s cast is led by Josh Brolin as the titular hero, a character he initially hesitated to play but later embraced due to the film’s tongue-in-cheek tone. John Malkovich shines as Quentin Turnbull, the ruthless antagonist who murdered Jonah’s family. Megan Fox portrays Lilah Black in a typecast role as Jonah’s love interest. 

Additional cast in Jonah Hex included Michael Fassbender as Burke, Turnbull’s psychopathic right-hand man, and an ensemble cast that includes Will Arnett, Michael Shannon, Wes Bentley, and Aidan Quinn in various roles.

Before Josh Brolin’s casting, Thomas Jane petitioned for the role of Jonah Hex, even going as far as having a makeup artist transform him into the character’s appearance. Unfortunately for Jane (or, maybe fortunately, when considering the film’s bleak reception), Jimmy Hayward went with Brolin for the main role. 

Jonah Hex may not have achieved the commercial success it aimed for, but it remains an interesting addition to the superhero genre.

But casting changes weren’t the only challenges Jonah Hex faced. There were a handful of directorial shifts, which caused reshoots, and a hectic filming schedule that may have been the film’s ultimate downfall. In fact, Brolin himself attributes the movie’s failure to the hectic filming schedule, and Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club rated the film poorly due to the obvious look of something that was thrown together under a tight deadline.

josh brolin megan fox
Megan Fox and Josh Brolin in Jonah Hex (2010)

Jonah Hex faced a tough reception upon release. It performed poorly at the box office and was met with even worse reviews from film critics. Rotten Tomatoes scored it at 12 percent, and Metacritic at 33 out of 100. Audiences rated it an average grade of C+, with many giving the film as low as an F.

Critics pointed out the film’s disjointed narrative and rushed production as drawbacks. Despite these criticisms, the film has developed a cult following over the years, with some appreciating its unique take on the Western genre and supernatural elements. It could be through the word of mouth of these dedicated fans that Jonah Hex is now killing it on Amazon Prime.

Jonah Hex may not have achieved the commercial success it aimed for, but it remains an interesting addition to the superhero genre. With its intriguing plot, spin on the American Western, star-studded cast, and supernatural elements, the film has garnered a niche audience that appreciates everything that makes this superhero film unique.