Aeon Flux is a movie that critics hated. Luckily, I rarely listen to professional critics. They also hated John Carter. I just watched it last night and found out it was actually a decent movie. Anyway, Aeon Flux stars Charlize Theron as the title character. With her coming off her Oscar win for Monster (2003), comparisons to prior Oscar winner Halle Berry’s film Catwoman were numerous (and unfair, in my opinion). Added to this, the creator of the original animated Aeon Flux Mtv series also disowned the movie. His series didn’t have any narrative structure or continuity, or even any spoken dialogue, and he was proud of that. When he found out that this film was going to have plot, continuity, and yes, dialogue, he protested by telling fans of his show to not watch this movie. Finally, this film opened against the fourth Harry Potter movie. As a result of all of these things, the film did not get seen by too many people. I did see it, and while there are certainly better movies, I liked this one enough to recommend it.
I had seen a few of the animated episodes, but I was far from being a fan of the series. You don’t have to have watched the show to understand what is going on in the movie, although you will pick up on some nods to it. For instance, a scene where Aeon catches a fly with her eyelashes, like a Venus flytrap, is right from the animated series. Anyone who had not seen the show probably thought this was just a random, bizarre scene in the movie.
The film is set in a dystopian future hundreds of years from now. A virus wiped out almost the whole population of Earth. The survivors gathered in a city and put up high walls to protect themselves. No one is ever allowed to go outside into the vast wasteland. This city is run by a council, which is itself dominated by the Goodchild brothers Trevor (The Lord of the Rings’ Martin Csokas) and Oren (Trainspotting’s Jonny Lee Miller). Their ancestor is the man who found the original antidote to the virus. Unfortunately, the antidote has rendered humanity infertile. The race has continued through the use of cloning. While living inside the city is ostensibly a paradise, it is actually a police state where any and all dissent is put down quickly.
In this city lives Aeon Flux and her younger sister Una (Amelia Warner). Aeon is a secret operative and assassin for the Monicans, an underground group dedicated to overthrowing the council. They are led by The Handler (
’s Frances McDormand). After fellow operative Sithandra (Sophie Okonedo) fails, and after she suffers a personal loss, Aeon is ordered to assassinate Trevor Goodchild. Fargo
While attempting to fulfill this mission, Aeon learns that there are far larger plots going on than she first realized and that some of these even reach back to the founding of the city. She hesitates on killing Trevor and this makes enemies of her own rebel group. She now has almost everyone after her, while at the same time she is trying to figure out just who is behind everything, and what is going on.
Pete Postlethwaite also appears in the film, but to discuss his role would be a spoiler. Also watch for a cameo by Theron’s then boyfriend Stuart Townsend as a man who passes her an object during a kiss.
The special effects in the film are quite good. I especially liked a sequence with a lot of small silver balls. Theron worked hard to get the spider-like movements of her character down. This was another homage to the original animated series. Filming actually had to be shut down for a while due to an injury Theron sustained while doing one of the stunts.
If you are a reader of science fiction then you will have seen these concepts already presented in other novels about dystopian futures, whether it was 1984, Fahrenheit 451, or Kurt Vonnegut’s short story Welcome to the Monkey House. If you are a movie watcher instead, there are certainly parallels to
’s Run (1975), Equilibrium (2002), and V for Vendetta (2005). Like the latter film, Aeon Flux also raised memories of recent terrorist acts, and suffered somewhat for it. Logan
If you dislike movies that are different from the norm, then you may want to skip this one. On the other hand, if anything above sounded interesting, that I recommend you give this film a try. It’s not as bad as you may have heard.
Chip’s Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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I thought this was an OK film. Not the worst film I've seen. It's a bit mediocre but also interesting. I will still see this over Catwoman any day of the week.ReplyDelete
"I will still see this over Catwoman any day of the week." I agree.Delete
That film wasn't good but I did enjoy it - Theron was bad ass in it and some of the little details - like the costumes, buildings, grass turning into blades and the cool additions like that really created quite the universe.ReplyDelete
The key for me is if I liked the film then I consider it good enough to recommend to others, if it sounds interesting to them (my 3 star ratings). There are some films I have had to bump up a little because of how well they were made, but I don't lower ratings for films I liked. I knew going in that this film was the one most likely to generate some "Huh?" reactions.Delete
I was a big fan of the original cartoon and just about the only connection is some of the look of the characters and Sithandra having hands for feet, who was in an episode of the show. It's been a long time since I watched it, I think it was even while it was in theaters and I generally liked it, but I was underwhelmed. I wouldn't put it anywhere near Catwoman though, it was good, but not great.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing from the perspective of a fan of the TV show.Delete