Thor Gets Fresh With Jennifer’s Body

Jennifer's BodyCheerleader Jennifer (Megan Fox) goes from plain bitchy to supernatural evil when she returns from the grave with a thirst for the blood of teenage boys.  It’s up to her nerdy best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) to save the day before Jennifer feasts on the town’s entire male population with an eye on Needy’s boyfriend as her next victim…

After the sleeper success and Oscar win of 2007’s Juno, screenwriter Diablo Cody has become a breakout success with a bizarre rags-to-riches story.  But in the past year the backlash due to her trademark ‘dialogue’ and what many felt an undeserving win, has almost out-shadowed her success.

The same can be said for the film’s leading lady, Megan Fox; after bidding time with average teen-drama fair, Fox broke out in Michael Bay’s Transformers making mouths drool and heads turn from her stunning looks.  Unfortunately, over time, her loud opinions and general overexposure has made even horny teenage boys tire of her, which bring us to Jennifer’s Body; an enticing collaboration between the two.  When announced a year ago, the concept screamed ‘box-office success’ but at present has only made a small whimper at the cinemas.  The film is overly ambitious and muddled yet overall it’s a shame because looking past its flaws and media gossip lies a fun B-movie that deserved a fair shot.

First things first, Megan Fox is smoking hot in the film but that’s a given.  Luckily, she also impresses on the acting front, playing the ice-cold high school diva with relish.   She’s equally as game to flaunt in her cheerleader outfit as she is to vomit black bile in demon make-up.  Yet, for all the effort she puts in, the true stunner is Amanda Seyfreid who manages to steal the show with the less flashy role.  Her take on Needy is grounded and involving, helping the uneven film through some of its more awkward and bizarre moments.

On the screenwriting side there’s no denying that Cody is a good writer, behind both her films lie an involving story with three-dimensional characters regardless of all the superficial quirks.  Yet Juno comes out superior for its grounded drama and was subtler with its quirkiness while Jennifer’s Body attempts to go straight for the jugular and wallow in its excess.  Most of Cody’s trademark dialogue comes off as flat and more specifically robs the third act from any decent emotional involvement.  Another flaw is the film’s ambition.   Diablo attempts something that is part dark ‘High school’ satire, part ‘feminist’ message and part B-grade horror, overall creating a concoction hard to swallow although enjoyable to watch.

Director Karya Kusama’s attempts to blend it together are as slick as possible, yet stumble when she aims her style for Gothic and elegant with the subject screaming gritty and ‘Grindhouse.’  The end product is a film that falls short of its ambitious checklist, yet you can never hate a film for trying.  For the several times Jennifer’s Body falls on its face, once in a while it hits one out of the park creating something fresh, sometimes exciting and overall fun.

Overall: 3/5


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