Wednesday, December 07, 2005

AEON FLUX: More like Catwoman than Matrix

(action thriller)
Time: 90 mins
Rating: * *
Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux
IT is obvious that the producers of Aeon Flux had meant for the film to be a hot action thriller like The Matrix. What they have come up with is a hot chick flick that is closer to the flop that was Catwoman.

The sets and photography are first class, but the dialogue sucks and the plot is awful. It is evident that the film-makers have concentrated so much on Charlize Theron’s outfits and fighting scenes that they have forgotten about stuff like acting, and character development. The biggest consolation is that the movie is only 90 minutes long...

Aeon Flux is based on the character from MTV’s Liquid Television’, an animated series created by Peter Chung. It started in 1991 as a series of sci-fi shorts about a hit-woman trying to infiltrate a bunker-like building and getting killed at the end of each episode because she has made a mistake. In 1995, it was adapted into a series of 30-minute episodes about Aeon Flux fighting for personal freedom against a dictatorial power.

However, Aeon Flux the movie is all fluff and little substance. It is 2415 and 99 per cent of the world population has been killed off by a virus. The remaining five million now live in a walled city called Bregna which is built by scientist Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas) who developed a vaccine against the virus. Life in Bregna seems quiet and peaceful but a group called the Monicans are trying to topple Trevor’s administration.

One of the most prominent members of the Monicans is Aeon Flux (Theron), a professional killer who is reckless and unpredictable. When her family is killed by government agents, Aeon gets the assignment she has been waiting for all her life: the mission to kill Trevor. Paired with her protege Sithandra (Sophie Okonedo), an agent with modified ‘hands’ to replace her feet, they manage to infiltrate Trevor’s fortress. However, when Aeon comes face to face with her nemesis, she just cannot pull the trigger.

This makes Aeon an enemy of both the Monicans and the government. And with Trevor’s younger brother, Oren (Jonny Lee Miller) hatching a treacherous plot, Aeon and Trevor must team up to stay alive and unravel the conspiracy. Yeah, there are some twists and turns in the plot but nothing is convincing enough to keep us interested. There is no warmth in the sloppily-developed characters and their relationships, and some of the cast are ‘misused’ here.

Veteran Frances MacDormand is wasted in a decorative role as the Monican’s Handler and Pete Postlethwaite is unintentionally comical as The Keeper of a floating ‘archives’. Sure, Theron looks fetching in black tights. She gets to ‘kick ass’ and strut around in eye-popping ‘pyjamas’. But after that Oscar-winning role in Monster, she ain’t gonna be proud of this role, not when the box-office figures come in.


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