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Æon Flux

Æon Flux (2005) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  93m  •    •  Directed by: Karyn Kusama.  •  Starring: Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Frances McDormand, Pete Postlethwaite, Amelia Warner, Caroline Chikezie, Nikolai Kinski, Paterson Joseph, Yangzom Brauen, Aoibheann O'Hara, Thomas Huber.  •  Music by: Graeme Revell.
        In the Century XXV, a virus exterminated most of the population of Earth, and the last city is Bregna, which is ruled by Trevor Goodchild and protected by wall from the outside world. The women are sterile, and the population is cloned living many lives. A resistance group entitled Monicans and led by The Handler, assigns the assassin Aeon Flux to kill Trevor and overthrow the government. However, Aeon Flux discloses a scheme plotted by Oren Goodchild against his brother Trevor and she resolves to protect Trevor instead of killing him.

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Review:

Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Image from: Æon Flux (2005)
Almost exactly after her Oscar winning turn in the otherwise terrible Monster, Charlize Theron turned to this science-fiction film based off of an MTV cartoon from the early 1990's (which I can say I have never watched, and probably will never watch). Clearly, it was not the best choice of film for a recent Academy Award winner, but then again, neither was Catwoman for Halle Berry. But whereas Catwoman was basically terrible all around, Aeon Flux has its moments, albeit few and far between.

The film opens about 400 years into the future. A disease has crippled the world since the early 2000s, and has wiped out around 99% of the human population. The remaining population lives in the scientist controlled state of Bregna, a small dystopic city (is the future ever a happy place?) that is completely walled in from the rest of the world. A resistance group called the Monicans are out to take back the city from the scientists, and send in their top operative, Aeon Flux (Theron), to eliminate the leader, Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas). As anyone could predict, it does not quite work out that way.

The problem with the film is mainly the fact that it feels half-baked. While some elements are spot-on, some are just a total mess.

The main plot line does feel a bit rehashed from many other science-fiction films (if I name them, I'll give the plot away to anyone who does feel the need to see this film), but it still works for the most part. Some of the scenes actually look like they play right out from those earlier films too. It is an interesting idea, and as it progresses, it is a fairly cool concept. It falters a bit from here to there however, with many things just coming up totally randomly and then never again afterwards. The dialogue is absolutely atrocious too, with many lines coming off as preachy or just plain stupid. If anything, the script could have used a bit more thought put into it, as the film only lasts a mere 93 minutes. A little bit of extra dialogue and description goes a long way.

The visuals, when they are at their best, are astounding. Some of the buildings and backgrounds are downright amazing to look at, as are the costumes that the characters wear, and the weapons they use. They have a sense of being futuristic, while not being too over-the-top like so many other science-fiction films. It works in this film's favour, as it could have made the film even worse than it actually is had the creators gone overboard with their depiction of the future. The entire concept of being able to tear at some skin, taking a pill or drinking a certain liquid, and then being transported to a secret base only viewable inside one's head, is completely fantastical in both its design and its idea. If anything feels original in this film, it's that. I kind of liked the idea of having two sets of hands and no feet as well.

But the acting is where the film really falters. Theron basically shows none of her range or emotion that she has in the past, and ends up looking like a one-dimensional zombie for much of the film. Even when the film hits fairly tense moments, she just stays with the same reaction at all times. I know she had a rough shoot and some fairly idiotic dialogue, but an Oscar winner really should act better than this (although, lest we forget, Berry was and still is, much worse). Csokas is adequate as Trevor, and shows a slight bit more range than Theron, but not a whole lot. Jonny Lee Miller as Trevor's brother Oren, just cannot seem to grasp what kind of intensity to bring to the role, and ends up just looking like a parody for much of his screen time. The excellent Sophie Okonedo is reduced to a joke throughout the film, and Frances McDormand and Pete Postlethwaite are fairly spot-on with their roles, only are not shown nearly as much as they should be.

While not being a total cataclysmic disaster, the film still really is not that great. A little more zest in the screenplay could have helped, as could better performances from almost everyone involved. Hopefully Theron took some valuable lessons from the production that she can put into effect later in life, specifically so she does not become the next Halle Berry.


Review by DonFishies from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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