*1/2 (out of 5)
September 18, 2009
Megan Fox as JENNIFER CHECK
Amanda Seyfried as NEEDY LESNICKY
Johnny Simmons as CHIP
Adam Brody as NIKOLAI WOLF
J.K. Simmons as MR. WROBLEWSKI
Studio: Fox Atomic
Directed by: Karyn Kusama
BY KEVIN CARR
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I am a big fan of horror movies, and I like a good comedy as well. However, if they aren’t executed correctly, you are likely to end up with an unholy union like “Jennifer’s Body.”
This film, which is Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody’s follow up to “Juno,” tells the story of a sizzling-hot cheerleader who becomes possessed by a demon and then starts a killing spree in her high school. Amanda Seyfried plays the nerdy Needy Lesnicky against Megan Fox’s sultry Jennifer, and the girls find themselves at odds with which boys are to be killed.
Having enjoyed irreverent and self-aware spoofs of the horror genre like “Slither,” “Shaun of the Dead” and even the early “Final Destination” movies, I was hoping for some good laughs. Unfortunately, it seems that director Karyn Kusama (whose latest gift to the cinematic world was the steaming turd of a sci-fi train wreck known as “Aeon Flux”) didn’t get the memo that this movie was supposed to be a comedy.
Kusama’s inept direction plods along, taking itself too seriously and not playing up the humorous moments enough. She holds back with the true horror and doesn’t take the comedy far enough. Rather, she relies on Megan Fox to deliver Diablo Cody’s ersatz teenspeak dialogue about vaginal products to sell things. And this could work in the hands of a more capable actress like Ellen Page. However, Megan Fox is an acting black hole, and the movie disintegrates before it can actually take form.
I suppose this film was in failure mode at the script stage, and it seems to demonstrate that Cody was a one-night writer from the start. She mimics her own Oscar-winning script rather than going anywhere new. what made “Juno” so brilliant was its emotional core, which made it an adorable and heartwarming film. However, like Megan Fox’s character in the film, “Jennifer’s Body” has no soul.
I understand that Megan Fox provides at least four or five minutes of fantasy time for horny teenage boys each night before they fall asleep, but she is literally just another pretty face. She’s the worst actress on the planet, the Steven Seagal of hot chicks. I don’t want to come off as sounding misogynistic, but she really serves no other purpose than eye candy. When she opens her mouth to speak, it’s like listening to a cat in a wood chipper.
It would be worth something if Fox played sexy better in this film. However, because she’s now a huge star (thanks a million, Michael Bay), she’s not any more revealing in “Jennifer’s Body” than she is in the latest issue of Maxim or Stuff. In fact, if you’re dying to see Megan Fox look sexy, grab a magazine and skip this movie because you won’t have to hear her desperately try to act.
It’s really too bad this movie wasn’t any better. Amanda Seyfried does a decent job acting, but all the attention goes to her co-star.
“Jennifer’s Body” is a triple threat of crap. The writing is amateurish, which is sad since it comes from an Oscar winner. The directing is self-defeating. And the lead actress is… well, is Megan Fox.