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.
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
This is the first movie based on a TV show that I've gone out to see in a long time and for the first time, I haven't been disappointed. For anyone who remembers the original shorts from liquid TV and the following series, this film will fall snug into the sequence of the Aeon Flux story-line (such as it is). I feel that for the first time a movie like this has really captured the imagery, character, and themes of the TV show it's named after. From the script, to the directing, to even the casting, this film has really lived up to a show that I fondly remember from my college years.
When I first heard about it, I cringed at what I was convinced would be a butchering of what was an incredibly well crafted show. I thought for sure that the screenplay wouldn't blend with the series and that it would lack all of the post-modern themes that made the show so thought provoking and mind bending. I thought for sure that the characters in the movie would be the gorgeous carbon copied cliché archetypes we find in every action flik rather than the strange (in personality and looks), flawed, often torn, and questionably motivated characters that made the show so interesting. And I also assumed that this film would be so overwrought with cgi effects that I'd wonder why they didn't just make a cartoon.
I've never been so happy to say that I was wrong on all accounts. The screenplay almost seems like an episode they never made. It begins straightforward, leading into beautifully choreographed action. But just as you think you're settling into a dynamic action piece meant to leave your brain dead, the plot is twisted around, and you find yourself pondering philosophical concepts you haven't pondered since you last read Kurt Vonnegut. The characters and their motives can rarely be pinned to good & evil but more or less selfish; another concept carried over from the show.
The casting was also done with the look of the show in mind. While Theron is far more gorgeous than I ever imagined the real Aeon looking, she captures the stoic, brutal, and graceful demeanors of the series' antihero. The rest of the casting for the film is even better. The actors chosen really do resemble the images I recall from the show like the absurd hair-dos, angular facial features, full lips, and tortured expressions that make you think they're wondering if life is really worth living.
The rest of the film's look is also spectacular because it's perhaps the most realistic futuristic society I've seen on film and because the locationssets echo the look of the original show. The cgi effects no longer resemble something out of Tron but really make you wonder if what you're looking at is computerized or on the set. This may be just the natural progression of computer effects as I noticed the same thing with the latest Harry Potter movie. The setting (while not as grand and wide as I remember) has retained the post-industrial devolution look and blended it seamlessly with the super-futuristic look of the aristocratic locations.
I feel the only thing they didn't quite get right was the sensually explicit nature of the relationship between Trevor and Aeon. I'm not saying that the movie needed a full out sex scene or anything (although it would've fit considering the theme at the end) but we don't see evidence of the mind games, competition, and fetishism that made the relationship so compelling in the TV run. I was also hoping that the score would have a few echos of the original soundtrack for the shorts and that a few more of the full episode characters would make an appearance, especially Bambara.
Overall, If you fondly remember the Aeon Flux from Mtv's Liquid TV and you liked the full episode series even more, you'll dig this film. If you like weird post modern films (like Brazil, FightClub, or Akira) that leave you thinking a couple of days after you've seen it, you'll dig this film. If you've hated every single crummy movie based on a TV series, you should really dig this film. Most of all; If you're a sci-fi fan who feels it's been far too long since you've seen a good film, get out and see this one.
Review by gnorbury from the Internet Movie Database.