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Monday, May 2, 2016

Uneven script hinders Fox's Jennifer's Body

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What do you get when you combine one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood, poor supporting acting and a script that can't quite figure out how serious to take itself? The product in this case is Jennifer's Body, starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried.

Let's run down the premise really quick. Jennifer (Fox) and Anita (Seyfried) are the stereotypical hot chick -- ugly duckling pairing you've come to expect in modern day sub-par horror flicks. The twist is that a band clamoring for fame conducts a sacrificial ritual in hopes that all their wildest dreams will come true.

There's one hiccup with their plan, though.

The band Low Shoulder, fronted by Nikolai (Adam Brody), head deep into the small backwoods town in search of a virgin for their ritual. They happen upon Jennifer, who plays the part perfectly, and offer her up as their sacrifice. The only problem is Jennifer's not so pure and the ritual turns her into a succubus, who feeds on the flesh of young men to keep her perky glow.

After Jennifer takes a bite out of Anita's boyfriend, "Needy" as her schoolmates call her, visits Jennifer's house and cuts her down. Needy is bitten by Jennifer and now has been committed to an asylum.

But in a true case of be careful what you wish for, Needy escapes and tracks down the boys in Low Shoulder and proceeds to do a little slicing and dicing of her own.

I know I gave you well more than what you needed, but I'm hoping to do my small part and save you the rental if you think this is a true horror film.

The biggest fault with the film is the script. Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) penned a script that seems to intent on making itself a seminal cult classic. It has some wonderful lines of dialogue, but overall it's too campy for its own good.

Where else but in Hollywood would Seyfried be cast as the ugly girl? The three performances in the film belong to Fox, Seyfried and Brody. Brody's only on screen for a few minutes, but he is so slimy good.

I don't think they could have cast anyone else to play Jennifer. I'm beginning to think Fox might be a much better actor than people give her credit for. So far we've seen her running from oversized Jet-converting robots and playing a possessed, valley-speaking adolescent. Her turn in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People was nice, but it's going to take a major project to thrust her into the respectability realm. Not sure the upcoming Jonah Hex is the vehicle, but we'll just have to wait and see.

The DVD comes with both a theatrical and unrated version of the film, plus a commentary by director Karyn Kusama and Cody.

Final Cut: Jennifer's Body has its moments, but overall it's just a Hollywood film packaged as an indie cult flick and falls short on all accounts.

2 out of 5 Stars

Jennifer's Body

Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody, Johnny Simmons, J.K. Simmons

Director: Karyn Kusama

Writer: Diablo Cody

MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use.

Available now in DVD and Blu-ray