Friday, September 18, 2009

Review: Wicked, Smart Jennifer's Body Not Just About Megan Fox's Body

Review in a Hurry: A girl-driven horror flick featuring a hypnotic performance by Megan Fox and the wicked dark smarts of writer Diablo Cody, Jennifer's Body aims to be a cult classic, and should be crowned as one.

The Bigger Picture: Jennifer's Body gleefully jumps over gapping plot holes and shoves characters into implausible situations—but no matter! Everyone here is having way too much fun to care. The movie has the darkness of Heathers, the edginess of Mean Girls and the absurd gore of Little Shop of Horrors. In other words, it's tailor-made for screenings at midnight and slumber parties.

Here, Jennifer is the Megan Fox of her high school: an envied, desired sex kitten. Her bestie is a bookish, clingy, goofball nicknamed Needy (Amanda Seyfried). Needy exists in the world of pigeon-chested boys and algebra homework, whereas Jen spends her time in nightclubs and bars seducing the men of her small town. (Why they're friends to begin with does get explained but is one of the story's weaker points—flashbacks to the sandbox where the girls built their unlikely bond.)

When an indie band, in requisite eyeliner and skinny jeans, comes to town, bad things go down: The evil band boys abduct Jen (Adam Brody plays the delicious lead singer) though she manages to escape. Curiously, her rapacious desire for boys is still intact, and we discover that what she really craves from men is their blood!

The new Jennifer unhinges her jaw like a snake and tears into boy-flesh with her teeth, then she scoops out organs for snacks. Needy is also in danger, as Jennifer's appetite "goes both ways."

But there's a savory second layer to the flick: the dynamic between the two girls. Their sexually fraught friendship feels entirely natural, instead of some horror flick gimmick. Cody's story accurately captures the hormonal soup of teenage girlie friendships, the scramble of seduction, competition and compassion.

And the ladies are electric: Seyfried's performance is sincere and skillful, but Fox is the pulsating motor of the movie. She's a wickedly comic vixen who uses her natural sexual charisma as a prop instead of crutch.

The movie may not please large audiences—the violence, the sexuality, the overall campiness—but it could easily captivate a core of new Jennifer devotees.

The 180—a Second Opinion: Cody's idiosyncratic language coming out of any one's mouth besides Fox feels a bit forced and can easily irritate.


No comments:

Post a Comment