Aeon Flux Review
In the 25th century, Earth has been ravaged by some sort of mysterious plague which has killed off about 90% of the population (Gaia’s revenge, perhaps?). Those who are left live in Bregna, the perfect city, ruled over by the benevolent dictatorship of the Goodchild Regime, run by the Chairman Trevor Goodchild (Csokas) and his brother Oren (Miller). Most people are content to live in the walled city and be taken care of, but a few rebel. Known as Monicans, they work to bring down the Goodchilds (Goodchildren?).
Aeon Flux (Theron) is a Monican who is ordered by her handler (McDormand) to assassinate Goodchild. But to her own surprise, they seem to recognize each other though they’ve never met before, and she’s unable to kill him. Now a fugitive, Aeon is hunted by her former partner Sithandra (Okonedo) as well as the Goodchild corporation, while trying to find out why her sister Una was murdered. Her investigations will expose the terrible secret at the heart of the Goodchild regime, and change the world forever.
Sigh. Aeon Flux, or The Curse of the Oscar Winner, is Theron’s very own Catwoman, right down to the ridiculous outfits. And don’t get me wrong. I like sci-fi, I like hopeless rebellions, I like ass-kicking women – one of my favourite films last year was Serenity, so I’m not all about arthouse, by any means. And you can see the germ of some interesting ideas in Aeon Flux – plagues, cloning, the power of drug companies – all of which apply to our society. But sadly it’s all wrapped up in a deeply daft package which is just about acceptable as mindless entertainment.
When we first see Aeon – and remember she’s meant to be an undercover rebel assassin – she is dressed in a outfit so stupid and noticeable that the Goodchild Regime must be complete dunces not to spot her. We’re never really sure what the Goodchilds have done to the Monicans – or, indeed, why they are called Monicans – to warrant a rebellion – most people in Bregna seem quite happy. For no apparent reason, Sophie Okonedo’s assassin has had her feet chopped off and replaced with hands. This is silly, as she can’t wear shoes, and what woman in her right mind would deprive herself of this pleasure?
It’s all quite stylish and colourful and if you like watching Charlize Theron running and bouncing and swinging and high-kicking her way around in a skin tight leotard then you may well enjoy it. The Matrix has a lot to answer for – Theron uses the patented ‘do a cartwheel to dodge bullets’ trick so beloved of Neo and Trinity. Otherwise, it’s ultimately a depressing experience, the kind of film that gives comic book adaptations a bad name. Karyn Kusama’s directorial debut was the promising Girlfight, starring a frighteningly intense Michelle Rodriguez – none of that early promise is fulfilled here. Marton Czokas seems to have wandered straight from the Lord of the Rings set, still speaking very slowly and in a bizarre monotone; oddly the film attracted an excellent cast – I can only assume that they had tax bills to pay.
AKA: Æon Flux
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