September 19, 2009

Putting the Suc Into Succubus!

I'm gonna spoil something for all you boys. No, Megan Fox does not get naked in Jennifer's Body! There! I said it! Now all you pre-pubescent, testosterone crazed, teens with holes in your pockets don't have to see it! While we're on the subject, none of you should, because even though it's written by a very gifted writer, and boasts big name, albeit questionable, talent, Jennifer's Body is one hellish experience to sit through!
So, there's Jennifer. She's hot, conceited, stupid, slutty, and other words that would describe a character played by Megan Fox! Then there's Needy. She's somewhat hot, smart, likable, funny, and other words that would describe a character played by Amanda Seyfried. They've somehow taken a hatchet to regular socially acceptable barriers and are best friends. One night, Jennifer drags Needy to see some arbitrary indie band at some arbitrary bar. The bar burns down due to... actually, that's not really explained, and Jennifer goes off with the band because... well in reality, that's not made explicitly clear either. Anyway, it turns out this band are worshippers of Satan, and try to sacrifice Jennifer to appease their demigod so that he may get their record sales up. Well, something goes wrong, and Jennifer survives, only now she's a psycho, man hungry, cannibal with a taste for any boy the movie deems important enough to capitalize on. I guess it's so we'll care. Anyway, she's starts gobbling up the sexually frustrated teens from her school, while Needy tries desperately to discover why her "friend" is behaving so friggin' weird. It's not the most original plot, but... no, actually, I can't really think of anything good to say for this one. Sorry.
Just by looking at the poster, you should immediately decide if you will see this movie or not. It displays the film's "star" Megan Fox, sitting seductively on a desk, all pimped out in short skirt and form fitting tank top. As Jennifer, Fox doesn't stray far from this image in terms of things we like about her. It is now an official decree! Megan Fox cannot act for shit! Sure, this is much more interesting role then whatever it was that was mistaken for a character in Transformers, but it's now abundantly clear to me. Whatever role is thrown at her, she will take it, and make it painful to watch. On a happier note, Amanda Seyfried is somewhat passable as Needy. Granted, she's kinda shoehorned into a stereotype dweeb role here. She wears glasses and has a ponytail. Warning lights flash! But, no, she's ok. On the man front, things are significantly brighter. Johnny Simmons turns in what I hope is career making performance as Needy's boyfriend, who meets a horribly unfair end! Adam Brody is quite funny as the maliciously evil leader of the band that is responsible for Jennifer's predicament, who meets a horribly awesome end! And JK Simmons is a righteous hoot as the kids dweebish, amputee, science teacher. At the risk of sounding sexist, the men in this movie do a much better job then the women. The sad thing is, if Megan Fox wasn't in this movie, it would actually a decently acted film. But, she is so terrible in it, that she brings everybody else down with her. What a bitch!
Jennifer's Body is written by Diablo Cody. Yes, that same Diablo Cody who just won an Oscar for the brilliant, Godsend of film that was Juno. This is how she follows that up? I know, stupid move. The self conscious, quirky, pop culture heavy, dialogue that she pioneered with Juno is still here, only now it seems, I don't know, different. You know how in the 90s after Pulp Fiction came out, and all those writers just started hopelessly trying to capitalize on the Tarantino style of writing. Remember how all of them missed that certain something that made Tarantino's dialogue so good? Well, it's more or less the same story here. Jennifer's Body feels like it was written by someone trying to emulate Diablo Cody, only Jennifer's Body was actually written by Diablo Cody, which is cause for concern. There are so many snarky remarks and pop culture references here that it just starts to get annoying. You know how in Juno, how all the teens seemed wise beyond their years with their witty syntax? You also remember how it seemed plausible, thanks to the movie having a certain air of, I guess, cheek? Not so with Body. You don't believe for a second that these kids would actually talk this. It's disappointing. And don't even get me started on the director. Karyn Kusama can make a good film; she showed us that much Girlfight back in 2000, but she followed that up with Aeon Flux, so maybe she isn't all that. Anyway, she is completely lost here with Body. She jumps around between tones so much it gives you whiplash, and completely fails with all of them. The scary and suspenseful sections are neither, the funny sections aren't funny enough, and the few sections that only exist to extenuate Megan Fox's curves are nowhere near hot enough to get anyone interested. Even the much hyped about girl-on-girl scene is a snooze. I don't really know why people make a big deal about a lesbian kiss on screen any more. That shit was old news five years ago! Now, don't get me wrong, the actors on display here are HOT! Megan Fox is HOT! Amanda Seyfried is HOT, despite what the movie wants you to think. And Adam Brody is HOT! That's right! I said that! But, the movie doesn't do enough to capitalize on this, which is surprising, given how much the marketing is capitalizing on it.
Jennifer's Body is one dismal movie! With a writer like Diablo Cody, you'd think the script would at least be good. But, even in that sense, you're left out in the cold. Body is poorly acted, badly directed, rarely funny, and not even remotely scary. Somebody will have to sell their soul to Satan to get the numbers up on this piece of shit! D

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