December 2, 2005

Aeon Flux: Guys Movie Night

The Aeon Flux movie takes what is, by all accounts, a pretty bizarre, surreal, and totally cool early-nineties animated character (from short films on MTV), brings her to flesh-and-blood life in the Academy-Award-winning body of Charlize Theron, and then removes all the bizarre, surreal, and coolness. Set in the far future, in the last city on earth, Aeon Flux is an assassin for an underground movement, attempting to topple the Orwellian regime of Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas, The Bourne Supremacy). The movie is filled with quality talent all around: the movie also stars Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy from Trainspotting), Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), and Frances McDormand (Theron's co-star in North Country), in an extended cameo.
However, great source material and a solid cast isn't enough. The characters are completely flat and passionless- Flux is supposed to be a cool-as-ice assassin, yet also on a vengeance trip at the same time. How to reconcile these two ideas? Director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) doesn't figure it out. The secret history of the last city on Earth is a cool premise which offers limitless possibilities for a cerebral sci-fi examination of self and the human condition, but this potential is squandered on lots and lots of gunfire.
Bregna, the last city on Earth, is depicted as endless Brutalist poured concrete and modern gardens (my friend Marc asked 'was this shot at Government Center? Jack replied 'I think I saw Mayor Menino in one scene!'). The climactic gun battle takes place in a grove of cherry trees. I kept thinking "Bregna's arborist is gonna be pissed that you're shooting at all these nice trees!" In the end, this Aeon Flux is a boring shade of Logan's Run, Blade Runner, Dark City, and Minority Report. (AMC Fenway)

See Also on Stub Hubby \ The Dytopian Action Heroine Collection:

  • Ultraviolet [2006] "A fairly intriguing if cliched two-hour sci-fi shoot-em-up, where half an hour of interesting detail has been edited out"
  • Lucy [2016] "A thinking-person's superhero origin story...without the heroics"
  • Ghost In The Shell [2017] "A workmanlike leveraging of a well-known property"