Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ticket Stubs: Jennifer's Body

Why is Jason X such a likable movie? Good? Debatable. Likable? Absolutely. For reasons unknown and unneeded, people of the future decide to freeze the comically brutal serial killer Jason Voorhees and then awaken his corpse in the 25th century IN SPACE! Yes! As every individual with two brain cells can deduce, Jason still wants to murder everyone in sight. Unfortunately the highly trained scientist-astronauts only have one brain cell to share among themselves. Seriously, rent it. It’s awesome.

Now let’s look at Jennifer’s Body. Jennifer is a hot popular girl (Megan Fox) who gets possessed by a demon and decides to eat and kill her fellow classmates. In many ways high school is just as silly of a place as space, thus I was drawn to this premise. Throughout the film, it pulls off the proper level of fun. Characters who we aren’t invested in get eaten in a silly, sexy manner. A character has a hook for a hand for no particular reason. Students are setting up posters for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: The Musical!. Yes! But…this is only one piece of the movie.

The other spices in this bizarre recipe are what give this movie such a bitter aftertaste. The harshest tasting ingredient is easily Diablo Cody’s cringe-worthy dialogue. In Juno the amped up witticisms were appropriate because Juno was using these phrases as part of defense mechanism to hide her insecurities. In Body everyone talks like this! They aren’t even fun phrases. Every use of “you’re so Jello” or “cheese ‘n fries” pulls the audience out of the film so powerfully that it feels like we’re attached to surprise zip-line wires.

Also there’s a problem with the pacing of the movie. Jason X has a body count. Jennifer’s Body has you count the bodies on one hand. Now this doesn’t have to be a problem, but the large spaces between the killings are usually quite dull. Sure, Amanda Seyfried saves most of the scenes she’s in by adding a surprising amount of depth to her character. Yet it almost feels at times this movie wants us to take it somewhat seriously. Why? Why in the world would we do that? Jennifer isn’t a likable character in the slightest.

We don’t want to hear her talk or explain herself. In fact the worst scene in the whole movie is this long unneeded exposition scene with almost no new information. Also I’m not even going to bother with a transition for this comment: For a teenager so hip and “in”, why does Seyfried go to the library for demon slaying research? Google escaped her pop culture lexicon?

In short, Jennifer’s Body is no Scream. It’s also no Heathers or Carrie either. And it’s certainly no Jason X.

1 comment:

  1. I've read very few movie review openings as great as "Why is 'Jason X' such a likable movie?"