Image credit: Dead Fox by JT-Pixel
Before we begin, let me get this out of the way:
Megan Fox is hot. Truly hot. Astoundingly hot. If you thought she looked good in Transformers and, um, Transformers 2, you haven’t seen anything yet. I was genuinely agog during some of her best moments. And there isn’t much time wasted between those moments. This film is stuffed full of scenes designed solely to show some oogleable aspect of – well, the title kinda gives it away. Let me not stress this enough: Megan Fox is fit.
Good. I’ve said it. Now, I can get on with the movie review.
If you’ve <a href="“>watched the trailer, seen the posters or heard anything about this movie at all, you will probably be thinking that Megan Fox is the star of the movie. If you’re anything like me, it’ll make the prospect of watching the film less daunting if you’re told the truth: she isn’t. In fact, I’m going to try and get away with not mentioning her for the rest of this review.
Amanda Seyfried, who at least gets her name on the DVD cover if not her picture, deserves virtually all of the credit for lifting this mostly silly, nonsensical and confused piece of teenage fluff up to the level of largely enjoyable and recommendable. I last saw (and, shamefully, wrote off) Seyfried as the blonde bimbo in Mean Girls*. That being so, she totally surprised me by putting in an engaging performance, bringing to life that most rare of movie personas: a horror flick character that you actually care about and want to live. She should be in your local cinema at the moment alongside Liam Neeson in Chloe and, after seeing her in Jennifer’s Body, I am definitely going to check it out.
It may be too early to tell, but Amanda has definitely impressed me with versatility, intensity and talent enough to separate her from 95% of the other young, female movie stars. Thinking back to Mean Girls, who could have guessed only Lindsay Lohan would not be headlining movies within ten years? Hold on, what’s Lacey Chabert doing now…? It’s almost definitely not worth IMDBing for.
Back to Jennifer’s Body… As I said, the film is pretty dumb. But it’s also fucking dark. Even darker if you mentally filter out some of the more torturous jokes and the so-ridiculous-it-almost-ruins-the-entire-movie plot cornerstone (asking a lot, I know… bear with me). Fortunately, I found this easy to do. Some of the suggested themes (that were perhaps more prominent in an early draft of the script, before Fox – the studio company I mean – opted to focus on tits and shitty gigs instead) are really quite disturbing and I found that, while certain key characters were played for pathetic, cheap laughs, some actors brought a gritty bleakness that made the experience of watching the film more disconcerting than most of its genre.
As I write this, I wonder if I’ve gone mad. It’s Jennifer’s Body for fucks sake. It must’ve been shit. Whatever I remember, it could not have been good. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it. Then again, even the title Jennifer’s Body doesn’t really make sense, which further makes me think there was the core of something good that was then distorted to within breaking point for the purpose of selling a tasty young actress. The title is just there because Fox (again, the studio) wanted to sell copies based on the eponymous character’s boobs rather than Amanda Seyfried’s acting skills.
Aside from the script occasionally not being complete shite and a few notably engaging performances, the film does have one major thing going for it: fuck loads of style. In thats sense, it reminds me of Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell (though I thought Jennifer’s Body was better). From a few minutes in all the way to the ending credits, with only a few exceptions Jennifer’s Body carried a bold, striking and surprising style – which, I found, more than made up for its severely ropey story. There was also a level of confidence sorely missed in most of the jizz Hollywood spunks out of its stonking, great producto-penises. For example, it’s an unwritten law in every movie that most settings have to be annoyingly explained by the characters – regardless of the impact this has on the mood and whether or not the audience give a shit about it. The process goes something like this:
Boy: Wow. What is this place?
Girl: This is the old brewery. My sister told me that it was shut down before we were born after three men got caught up in the machinery. It’s been left pretty much abandoned ever since.
Boy: Yeah! I remember hearing about this! There’s a whole dull backstory that is largely irrelevant but supposedly justifies a bunch of high school kids ending up in a vast, spooky environment with dangerous, mangly technology littered about…
The only decent excuse for having a character ask “what is this place” when they’re already at that place is if you’re making The Cube. The best I can remember, Jennifer’s Body doesn’t do this particularly annoying piece of background setting and I’m willing to bet nobody will bother correcting me if I’m wrong.
So, in conclusion, a thoroughly enjoyable film, deeper than the marketing would allow and starring a great, young actress – albeit not the one most people would immediately think of**. Jennifer’s Body haemorrhages style from every severed limb and is definitely worth checking out when you’ve got nothing better to do on a Friday or Saturday evening. It probably isn’t worth writing almost 1,000 words in a review though.
*Update: Have since looked at her IMDB profile and realised she totally rocked in Mamma Mia! – there’s no shame in enjoying that movie… However, it does make my sudden discovery of this “emerging young actress” about three to five years out of date.
**To be fair to Megan Fox, I don’t think she’s a particularly bad actress and, while the role was uncomplicated, her portrayal of a demonically-possessed cheerleader was pretty terrifying in its own way. Plus, she’s hot and if she reads this I don’t want her to think I’m not interested.
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