Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jennifer's Body

Directed by Karyn Kasama.
2009. Rated R, 109 minutes.
Megan Fox
Amanda Seyfried
Johnny Simmons
Adam Brody
Sal Cortez
Ryan Levine
Kyle Gallner
J. K. Simmons

Plot: Head cheerleader/hottest girl in school Jennifer (Fox) goes off with a rock band immediately after the club they were playing in burns to the ground. When she resurfaces later that night she's just a little different. By different, I mean she's now literally homicidal and cannibalistic.

The Good: There is something to be said for a movie not taking itself too seriously. This one doesn't and definitely tries to inject humor whenever possible. Occasionally, it succeeds. The emo-fused funeral scene is a thing of beauty and wraps up this movie's snipes at the Twilight franchise rather nicely (then again, I might be the only one who took it that way). It also establishes it's premise pretty quickly and maintains a nice pace. This is important because that premise is actually good, as horror movies go, offering the potential for a solid high school angst hack flick or even a girl-power gore-fest, which it tries. As our heroine, the aptly named Needy, Amanda Seyfried gives us a strong performance.

The Bad: The movie is written by Diablo Cody, who also penned Juno. In that flick, the dialogue was inventive and witty to most and grating to a few. Here, it is grating to most and only clever to a few. Instead of being cool, it comes off like it was written by an adult trying to invent slang terms on the fly that she thinks is cool. Fox's valley-girl style delivery of every line doesn't help. The story itself, while based on a strong premise, turns out to be a poorly executed metaphor. The movie fails visually, as well. The cgi is unconvincing, at best, and often worse than much of what can be seen on YouTube. There's also the strong hint of a very interesting story that could possibly lead to a showdown between Jenny and her one-handed teacher Mr. Worbloski. One of the great character actors, J. K. Simmons handles the role. However, the movie completely wastes him by setting him up to appear he's going to do something major then ignoring him before he actually does anything at all. And how is it we only meet Jennifer's mom once, and at "that" precise moment.

The Ugly: Why Jennifer had to sit on a bag of frozen peas.

Recommendation: It wants to be a horror movie with a dark sense of humor. From time to time, it manages the humor. However, it doesn't manage it nearly enough to make up for the total lack of horror. You may find it to be so bad, it's awesome, but it wasn't quite good/bad enough for me to grant it such lofty status. You may also be infatuated with Megan Fox. In that case, I say "enter at your own risk."

The Opposite View: Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

What the Internet Says: 5.3/10 on (10/10/10), 42% on, 47/100 on

MY SCORE: 3/10

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