Outshining giant robots in 2007 blockbuster Transformers was no easy feat yet Megan Fox was able to bring a memorable mix of attitude and charisma to the role, marking herself out as a kick-ass action heroine for the new millennium. Fox has subsequently developed her action credentials, squaring off against vicious cowboys, wild animals and monstrous mutants in a variety of over-the-top action roles.
Fox’s latest movie is no different, as we find the actress once again pitted against a deadly adversary, this time a twisted serial killer who targets vulnerable young women. Fox plays FBI agent Lombardo who, along with her partner Helter (Bruce Willis) is working on a sting operation when they cross paths with state cop Crawford (Hirsch), who’s investigating a series of female murders that appear to be related to the case. Lombardo and Crawford team up to set a trap for the killer, with Lombardo putting her life on the line to act as the bait. When the off-the-books operation goes horribly wrong, Lombardo is plunged into grave danger and Crawford finds himself pitted against a serial killer in a twisted game of cat and mouse…
With Midnight in the Switchgrass available on Digital Download 13 August and DVD 16 August, we’ve taken a look back across the explosive highlights of Fox’s action-packed career to discover some of her wildest and most dangerous screen roles.
In the 1980s any kid’s bedroom wasn’t complete without a Transformer or two, and the ‘Robots in Disguise’ toyline grew into one of the most successful media franchises of all time. During their initial run of popularity, the Transformers might have been impossible to authentically bring to life in a live-action movie, but by the new millennium, computer-generated visual effects had made it possible to produce anything imaginable on screen. So, in 2007, the Transformers finally got the big-screen treatment they deserved with a blockbuster hit that would spawn a hugely successful franchise. The first film introduced us to the good-guy Autobots and the evil Decepticons, hulking space robots hiding out on earth disguised as cars, jets and other vehicles. As new additions to the film universe, we were also introduced to Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and Mikaela Banes. Played by Megan Fox, Mikaela proves a lot more capable in the action stakes than Sam, owing to her having learned some dubious skills as a juvenile car thief from her ex-con father! A sequel would follow, 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but this would prove to be the last outing for Mikaela after a public feud between Fox and series director Michael Bay, however, we’re glad to have two epic stories of robot carnage with the leading lady!
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Coming off the back of indie hit Juno (2007), writer and producer Diablo Cody wanted to create a fresh and blackly comic modern movie that paid homage to her 80s horror genre favourites. She did this with Jennifer’s Body, directed by Karyn Kusama, a smart and sexy tale of demonic possession packed with bloody killings committed by the monstrous… Megan Fox! The star plays lead cheerleader Jennifer who becomes possessed by a succubus during a dark ceremony one night in the local woods. Now seducing and feeding on the teen boys at her high school, it’s up to former friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) to stop her. While Fox has fun playing with her sex siren image and upping the bloodshed from Transformers, Cody’s script speaks to female empowerment and puts a complex, nuanced female friendship at the centre of the plot. Suffering from negative reviews and performing poorly at the box office on its initial release, the film proved to be ahead of its time and has only recently enjoyed re-appraisal with the film now praised as a feminist horror with strong cult movie credentials and it remains one of Fox’s most outrageously enjoyable roles.
Jonah Hex (2010)
After 2008 and the release of Iron Man a new era of big-budget comic book movies began to take over screens with DC making an early attempt at getting into the game with the first adaptation of their western-themed comic series, Jonah Hex. Played by Josh Brolin, Jonah Hex is a confederate cavalryman who is forced to watch his wife and child burn to death at the hands of sadistic commanding officer Turnbull (John Malkovich) and his brutal enforcer Burke (Michael Fassbender). Left for dead, Jonah is found and revived by Native Americans who imbue him with mystical powers. Now living the life of a bounty hunter, Jonah comes across Megan Fox’s Lilah, a prostitute with her own secret past, and the two become involved in stopping Turnbull and his attempts to unleash a dangerous superweapon on the West. As corset-wearing, gun-wielding Lilah, Fox more than holds her own in the film’s action set-pieces but her efforts weren’t enough to stop Jonah Hex from being shot dead at the box office. Fox would get another chance at a comic book franchise with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while Brolin would go on to legendary status playing the chief antagonist of The Avengers, Thanos. Snap!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Beginning life as an indie comic book in the eighties, by 1990 the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles had become a worldwide phenomenon with an animated series, an action figure-line and every form of tie-in merchandise you could imagine… including a big-screen movie adaptation! But while the turtles never fully disappeared from our screens, the wave eventually broke and turtle power subsided… at least for a little while. With a popular new cartoon and hit videogames turtle power was once again trending and in 2014 it was time for a new live-action movie… the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were back! Explosive action was guaranteed with Michael Bay acting as producer, and after having patched things up after their Transformers fallout, Megan Fox scored the lead (human) role of intrepid reporter and friend of the turtles April O’Neil. After uncovering a sinister plot led by the evil Shredder and his Foot Clan, April quickly finds herself captured and facing certain death… until Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael arrive to save her neck! As typical for a Megan Fox character, April soon proves she doesn’t need saving and can give as good as she gets, teaming up with the turtles to save the city. Despite some initially negative fan reaction to the altered turtle designs and origin story (they’re now mutants from outer space!) this fun, the action-packed effort did well enough to score a sequel, 2016’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and Megan was back teaming up with the turtles once again. Cowabunga!
Megan Fox headed to Africa to get down and dirty fighting evil poachers and fending off wild animals in this thrilling action effort from director M. J. Bassett. Taking the lead as the head of a crack team of multinational mercenaries, Sam O’Hara (Fox) takes on a rescue mission in the grasslands of East Africa. When the team’s chopper is shot down, Sam is forced to guide her group across the plains, surviving against dangerous animals (including a deadly crocodile attack!) and the militia that’s hot on their heels. The situation goes from bad to worse when they shelter for the night in an abandoned game farm, which happens to belong to illegal lion farmers, and what’s more, a lone lioness is stalking the group through the night… Packed with intense action, fierce firefights and vicious animal attacks, Fox really gets to flex her shoot-em-up muscles in a commanding lead role. Along with the white-knuckle action, the film also carries a strong conservation message making it a must-watch-Fox.
Midnight in the Switchgrass is on Digital Download 13 August and DVD 16 August from Lionsgate UK
Amazon DVD: https://amzn.to/3xzza6o