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Jennifer’s Body review – you didn’t expect it to be good did you?
After the relative shambles that was inglourious Basterds I decided to take a short break from reviewing films. Quentin Tarantino’s latest “masterpiece” had drained me of that much hope for cinema. Naturally I had planned on continuing to watch film, but decided against reviewing most of them to revive my sense of passion in the field.
Ironically it was decided that I return to reviewing films with Jennifer’s Body; a film that I had expected to be complete and utter excrement. This (I had assumed) would either confirm my suspicions or offer a nice surprise by turning out semi-decent which is ultimately why it was chosen.
So how did Jennifer’s Body stack up against expectations? Did Megan Fox
show her acting capabilities? Should Amanda Seyfried
have been put in the title role? Was there a shameless homoerotic taint to the proceedings to get male bums on seats? Was it ultimately pants? The answers to these questions are no, yes, YES and YES
A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specialises in “offing” her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?
This is not a review about Megan Fox. How I wish I could continue on for an hour moaning about the fact that someone with no acting ability is allowed to head theatrical releases. How I wish that I could mention that she has as much screen presence as the fabled hamster in Twelve Monkeys. How I hope that one day I am able to express that this woman is incapable of speaking a word of dialogue without sounding like one of those premium rate phone numbers that your mother tells you not to call (whilst pouting).
Anyway, since I am not permitted to mention the above (ahem), it is probably more pertinent to discuss the film. Jennifer’s Body is the collaboration between the screenwriter of Juno (Diablo Cody) and the director of Æon Flux (Karyn Kusama). Whilst it is encouraging to see a female director onboard, you cannot help she is doing a “Margaret Thatcher” (i.e. overcompensating by coming over all alpha male on us). This is said simply because Jennifer’s Body comes across almost as if it is told by a 14 year old sex-obsessed boy.
Amanda Seyfried begins the film in a surprising style and actually gives you hope for the rest of it. In fact if you walked out of the cinema after the first ten minutes, you could probably imagine a much better film involving the manifestation of characters and personalities along with dark secrets that are never told. If, however you do not walk out of the cinema you will be ultimately let down by the proceedings onscreen.
The very second Megan Fox opens her mouth onscreen you become fully aware what this is all about. This (apparently) was her springboard as a star in her own right; an opportunity to show that she can carry a film by herself. In fact Jennifer’s Body even fails to do this, as Amanda Seyfried tries and fails to hold anything that Fox does up (excuse the unintended pun). In fact instead of being a springboard into the realms of stardom of Hollywood (for Fox) it is more of a stone floor that a whiny pouting girl is bouncing up and down on, in the hope of getting some attention. Well I’m not paying you any attention Ms Fox! Only the rampant teenagers are!
The simple fact is Seyfried and Fox have shown to be suitable side characters in other films (Mamma Mia and Transformers respectively), but they are simply not cut out for headlining a film. In fact if you were going to take a risk with one of them then Megan Fox seemed like the obvious choice (being more recognisable to the masses) but after three minutes into the first take it should have been equally obvious that this was a mistake! Amanda Seyfried deserved the role of Jennifer if only for the reason that in the first scenes she showed promise.
The script is flimsy at best with only a vague brushing of storyline before ensuring that Ms Fox gets to lick her lips a couple of hundred times whilst sucking the face of every man onscreen. Quite randomly there is an unnecessary scene where Seyfried falls for her black-gunge-vomiting charms and goes for a lunge. Being a man, I naturally appreciate this but felt it a very cheap shot at gaining some attention in case we had all fallen asleep (which I nearly did).
Unfortunately Jennifer’s Body comes close to being “so bad that it’s good”, but shows elements of promise. It is only when you realise this that you cannot give it a good rating. It is impossible to believe that the director and writer thought that they were making a cheap B-movie parody of better films. The sad fact is they weren’t. Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody were actually trying. I suppose it is better to try and fail instead of never trying at all, but believe me...they failed!
As expected, Megan Fox fails as a lead character and Amanda Seyfried fails to support her. Jennifer’s Body fails as a parody (because it wasn’t one) and it fails as a teen horror. It fails as a comedy, due to the fact that only the horrific sacrifice scene was almost darkly comedic and it fails as platform for the main stars to continue on in their own headlining work.
Jennifer’s Body showed promise at the beginning and a better story could be told. Perhaps this story would have been an amalgamation of other films but then it was anyway! Watch it if you are a rampant teenager who is likely to find spending £10 to watch Seyfried and Fox sucking each other’s face worth it (it’s cheaper than a prostitute I suppose).
Rating: 2 out of 5