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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Jennifer's Body

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Jennifer’s Body – A “Fox” Transformed Into Man Eating Demon

In Megan Fox’s first leading role as Jennifer, the title character of this dark horror comedy, she portrays a bad girl. Based on Fox’s real life behavior involving booze, drugs, making negative remarks about her Transformers director, Michael Bay, and boldly claiming her bisexuality, it appears that this role didn’t require much of a stretch for the sultry Hollywood starlet. However, I will admit she enthusiastically sinks her teeth into the role, pun intended.

Megan portrays the conceited, stuck up, hottest girl in her local high school, whose best friend from childhood happens to be her polar opposite, a bespeckled, geeky blonde (Amanda Seyfried, Mamma Mia!) with the condescending nickname, Needy. The girls reside in the town of Devil’s Kettle, which is an obvious hint that something hellish is about to go down. The ball is set in mention one evening when the gal pals decide to visit the local bar. There, Jennifer sets her eyes on connecting with the eye-lined lead singer, Nicolai (Adam Brody) of the indie rock band, Low Shoulder, performing on stage. That proves to be a huge mistake when a mysterious fire burns downs the place. Instead of fleeing with Needy, Jennifer hooks up with the band, is whisked away in their van and taken into the woods where she becomes the helpless victim of their sacrificial satanic ritual that goes awry, after she lies about being a virgin. Oops!

It turns out Jennifer’s body is now processed by a bloody thirsty, man eating demon. The first person to get a clue is Needy after Jennifer shows up at her house all covered in blood and hungry to devour anything meaty in her friend’s refrigerator. Since the poultry is only a temporary fix, it is not too long before Jennifer is on the prowl, craving for some fresh and easy meat of the male variety, to satisfy her appetite. A killing spree ensues targeted at lustful, teenage boys, normally out of Jennifer’s league who think they might finally have a chance to score, but are deceitfully drawn into her web as an unsuspecting victim and left as a chewed up corpse.

Of course, it’s up to best bud Needy to find a way to stop evil Jennifer before Needy’s boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) inevitably becomes another piece of dead meat and the school’s entire male population is devoured.

Jennifer’s Body is screen writer, Diablo Cody’s follow up feature film after winning an Oscar for scripting her first film, Juno. The only thing that both films have in common is her signature, wise ass dialogue, which I don’t think is as clever or hip as some think. Rather, I find Cody’s dialogue to be unnatural and pretentious and I don’t get the fuss made over the former stripper turned screenwriter whose writing I have found nothing to rave about.

In the hands of director Karyn Kusama (she helmed the awful, Aeon Flux) Cody’s script is delivered with flaws and plot holes and Kusama fails to infuse a sense of dread or terror. I would be wasting my time to mention additional flaws because, truth be told, Jennifer’s Body, although written, directed by females and starring two young women, is aimed at teenage boys purposely showcasing Fox’s obvious physical attributes and sexual situations. All the storyline flaws go by the wayside when all young men in the audience really care about is seeing Megan with her pouty full lips, long raven hair, and hot body strutting her stuff on screen. For that, she has no problem delivering the goods or swapping spit with her female co-star in a gratuitous lesbian scene. I am curious if that idea was Fox’s in the first place.

As for being a comedic horror flick, sure there is plenty of bloody violence, gore and projectile vomit, but not one jump out of your seat scary moment, nor much to laugh out loud.

As for funny, I found the most humor in the cameo appearances of J.K. Simmons as a one armed schoolteacher, Amy Sedaris as Jennifer’s mom, and a look quick--if you blink-you will miss him, Lance Hendrikson towards the end.

When it comes to acting, this is really Seyfried’s film. She is what holds the film together and the story is told from her point of view in flashbacks. However, needless to say, the draw is Megan Fox. Although the film is called Jennifer’s Body, from the reactions of the boys in the audience at the screening I attended, it is really all about checking out Megan’s body. Enough said.
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