If nothing else, Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body brings Megan Fox to the logical endpoint of her screen persona—just as her career is beginning. Leaving aside rumors of on-set bitchiness (though Michael Bay sure is an odd one to be throwing stones), it should be said that the 22-year-old has at least been smart enough to work within a narrow and so far relatively flattering set of parameters. She was, for instance, perfectly fine essaying a sloe-eyed Eve Baxter type in Robert Weide’s unwieldy screen adaptation of the Hollywood tell-all How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Cast as an abstraction of starlet-dom, complete with a La Dolce Vita–style swimming pool vamp, Fox proved dimly alluring—especially in counterpoint to Kirsten Dunst’s caricatured professional-woman head case— and convincingly opaque.
Opacity was also the common denominator between Fox’s performances—or, better, “appearances”—in Michael Bay’s awful Transformers and its somehow even more awful sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. While I’m not limber enough for the sort of critical calisthenics that would recast Bay’s adman-on-fire aesthetics as neo-Godardian flourishes, there was an impressive consistency between the director’s presentation of heavy/sentient artillery and his views of his leading lady: whether leaning suggestively over a popped car hood or wrapping her sculpted legs around a motorcycle seat, Fox seemed less a human performer than a refugee from the uncanny valley, all Photoshop-precise proportions and dead Polar Express eyes.
Click here to read the rest of Adam Nayman’s review of Jennifer’s Body.