Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jennifer's Body


Megan Fox has the noisy Transformers movies to thank for in propelling her to fan geekdom, where her Mikaela character had probably captured more attention amongst the fan boys who are just as ecstatic about catching some mindless, high-octane Michael Bay action, as they are trying to figure out what the bombshell has got to do with robots. Which is pretty little of course rather than to ramp up its sexy quotient, and to think that Fox herself would be more suited for a role such as this one, in which she plays a demonic cheerleader out to seduce and devour boys.

But only if Diablo Cody's story wasn't that all over the shop. Successful with Juno in telling a story about a smart-mouthed teenager who finds herself pregnant, with Ellen Page and Michael Cera possessing some cute couple chemistry, Jennifer's Body turned out to be attempting to replicate that smarty dialogue, but felt so flat in the way her horridly inserted teen-vocabulary sounded each time they get uttered by It Girl of the town of Devil's Kettle, Fox's titular character Jennifer.

While one would think it's second nature for Fox to be that figurative man-eater, in actual fact she fell quite flat besides smacking her lips most of the time, and trying to sound all sultry but coming off as quite artificial. What could have sent many a heart racing with its premise of luring bad boys with her nubile body, turned out to be nothing more than a very tame outing just to cater to teenage demographics. Instead, I was more in awe with effort of the make up artists in how they manage to camouflage Fox's rather prominent tattoos all over her body. Yes, I was that bored.

The show however got stolen by Mamma Mia!'s Amanda Seyfried as nerdy Needy (yes, what a name), Jennifer's childhood friend who's so thick with her that they share this almost psychic bond with each other, sensing their presence, danger and the likes. With those geeky specs and frayed, frizzy hair, Seyfried downright steals the show from under the nose of the vampish Fox, and her character possesses quite the spunk in getting at what she wants, like a crouching tiger who's just waiting for an opportunity to shine, which translated into the movie as getting pissed off enough to dish out some punishment of their own.

Cody's story clumsily explains the links between Jennifer's supernatural abilities with that of a county-wide disaster which claimed the lives of enough citizens to permeate a lot of doom and gloom in the air. A reason got offered of course for what this is all about, but everything else was really poor in having pile cliché and genre formula all over, with plenty of irrationality in the last act. If one would have thought this was the adventures of Jennifer, be warned that Needy is just as much interesting, or more so than Jennifer, thanks to Seyfriend's performance of how BFFs go from chummy, to bitchy.

Fans of Megan Fox who are hoping to see a little more skin of their idol will likely leave the theatre unfortunately disappointed. The NC16 label has been put up, and the film surprising signals some toning down of requirements by the new local censors, where female to female lip locking would be under intense scrutiny, now it's just slapped with a rating just one above PG. A relaxation of rules perhaps?

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