Review: Aeon Flux

June 11, 2006 at 11:32 PM (Movies)

With the exception of "Matriculated" (one of the shorts from The Animatrix), I have not seen any of animator Peter Chung’s work.  I have, however, read about his creation Aeon Flux, which started off as a set of episodes on MTV’s Liquid Television, and then branched off into its own TV series.  The film adaptation was released sometime late last year, starring Charlize Theron in the titular role, and directed by Karyn Kusama, with a script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.  How well it compares to the animated version, I don’t know, but I certainly had a good time watching the movie today.  Though the trailer might make it out to be just another Matrix-style action/science fiction adventure with terrific visuals, I was pleasantly surprised with some of the interesting ideas and concepts in the movie.

In 2011, 99% of the Earth’s population was killed off by a deadly virus.  Scientist Trevor Goodchild developed a cure, and also built the utopian city of Bregna, where the remaining 5 million people lived.  Four hundred years later, all is not well in Bregna — while it might seem like a perfect society on the surface, there seem to be deep-seeded problems all over the city.  People are falling sick, there are people who mysteriously disappear, and the Goodchild regime may be somehow linked to all this.

The Monicans are a group of rebels who see the Goodchild regime as a "gilded cage", and are determined to assassinate the leader, Trevor (Marton Csokas).  Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron) is the deadliest of the Monican assassins, and when her sister, Una Flux (Amelia Warner) is killed by the Government, she is only too happy to be sent after Trevor with an assignment to kill him.  However, when she infiltrates the citadel and comes face-to-face with Trevor, she is unable to pull the trigger.  Later, as the secrets of the Goodchild regime are revealed, Aeon realises that her motives may be wrong after all.

Aeon Flux is a well-done movie.  Charlize Theron was awesome in the title role — her natural beauty and grace is aided by the photography and make-up (her hair is perfect in every scene!), and though the role didn’t demand that much of "acting" I thought it was well done.  The movie was very artistic and beautiful — the costumes, sets and effects give it all an otherworldly look, which is definitely apt for a movie set four hundred years in the future.

The action scenes are exciting (the final shoot-out is the highlight), and I loved the creativity on display (the gadgets and the other science-fictional elements).  The movie is tightly edited — but perhaps a little too much (certain scenes show characters appearing magically in a particular location, whereas they would have been somewhere else in a previous scene), however it is never boring.  The story is far better than expected, and it all makes for quite a good watch.  Good job!

Rating: 8/10

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