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STUDIO: Paramount Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 92 Minutes
• Commentary by: Charlize Theron and producer Gale Anne Hurd
• Commentary by co-screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi
• Creating a World featurette
• Locations featurette
• Stunts featurette
• Costume Design Workshop featurette
• The Craft of the Set Photographer featurette
• Theatrical trailer
Don’t like how your life is going in the utopian post-apocalypse? Blow some shit up, kill some people, get wasted, repeat.
Charlize Theron, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Frances McDormand, Pete Postlewaite, Amelia Warner.
Regrettably, Diane Keaton just wasn’t taking her Oscar loss to Charlize very well…
In 2011, 99% of us are going bye-bye due to a worldwide virus. The remaining 1% are going to come together to live in a walled city-state called Bregna. There a utopian paradise hides a growing dissatisfaction with the regime of the man who managed to cure the virus before it killed everyone, Trevor Goodchild (Csokas), along with his brother Oren (Miller). The Goodchild administration has maintained power for 400 years and are recently having to deal with a group of insurgents called Monicans, who are seeking to overthrow the Goodchild shadow government by any means necessary. Their top assassin is Aeon Flux (Theron), who is quite good with the ending of lives in the name of freedom while wearing skin-tight spandex.
So, yaahh, Aeon, we’re gooonna wantcha to go bump off this guy, dooonnchaknow, you betcha.
Aeon gets her assignments via a mind trip rendezvous with Handler (Frances McDormand), and she’s frequently joined on missions by Sithandra (Okonedo), her partner who felt the need to transplant her feet with hands. When Aeon’s sister, Una (Warner) is killed by Goodchild agents for being a Monican, Aeon’s determined to get revenge. But when she goes to kill Goodchild, she finds that there’s a mystery of not only her existence, but the existence of everyone who lives in Bregna that has gone undiscovered for 400 years. She then has to stay alive long enough – with both the Goodchild government and the Monicans after her – to unravel it.
And Bush somehow made sure all of the survivors were in Florida…
This is not a very good movie, plain and simple. Aeon Flux may – and I stress may – have appealed more to fans of the original cartoon, which was one of the freakier things I’d ever glimpsed on the tube. But for those who are uninitiated, it’s going to come off as more sizzle than steak and generally a mess of a picture. One can appreciate how much work went into this thing, with Theron’s physicality, Kusama’s direction at times, the production design and some of the F/X, but the story’s just not there. The predominant reaction that I came away with from the thing was, “Huh?” Some examples of this are why Sithandra, played by Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), would bother getting man hands where her lady feet used to be (definitely not a good look by the way – although the fact that she could give four guys handjobs at once is slightly intriguing). There’s also a scene where Aeon is in Goodchild’s library and straps on a device that takes her to some kind of alternate reality in the same space. Little things like that had me scratching my head at times. Plus there’s plenty of unnecessary wire-fu for wire-fu’s sake. Need proof, check out how many flips and somersaults Theron and Okonedo due to get through the garden of death.
Amazingly, Aeon was hiding fifteen guns, eight grenades and a rocket launcher in this outfit…
But the main thing that caught me is that the civilization that the Monicans were going all Iraqi insurgent to overthrow just didn’t come off as being that bad. Yes there were the disappearances of certain women at the hands of the Goodchilds, but overall, life there didn’t seem to be as bad as to need plowing under by rebellious murder. If future humanity had to live in Terre Haute, Indiana, I could understand; but here, they’ve been relegated to a city-wide strip mall and while that may inspire some us to pick up a hatchet and cleave somebody’s scalp, that just didn’t translate in the film. Furthermore there’s a big secret in Aeon Flux regarding the Goodchild government that they don’t want the populace at large to find out, but no one seems to question the fact that the same man has been ruling for 400 years, which would seem to be a dead giveaway. Plus the whole dissatisfaction with society thing and questioning your existence thing has been done more recently in the Matrix films and movies like The Sixth Day and The Island (hints to the big secret of the film) and I didn’t see much new here in those areas. This movie, along with the supposedly horrid Ultraviolet ain’t going to be doing much to prop up the futuristic sci-fi action heroine genre that’s for sure. To say that the film completely sucked sucked is too easy, but I can say that it just didn’t grab me like I’d like Charlize to do.
Man, did the producers ever get a lot of mileage from Sophie Okonedo’s feet in this flick…
Regardless of how the movie turned out, the disc is quite a bit better. The cover art is decent and the film itself looks great. The transfer is crisp and the production design of Aeon Flux is fairly impressive. The sound is available in Dolby 5.1 Surround and Dolby 2.0 Surround. And it’s rather packed with special features including two commentaries, one from Theron and Ex-Mrs. James Cameron #2, Gale Ann Hurd; and one by co-writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (The Tuxedo). There’s also five featurettes: Creating a World, Locations, Stunts, Costume Design Workshop, The Craft of the Set Photographer that total more than an hour of special features. The featurettes are pretty good and go into all of the details and cover all the bases of the production of the movie. If only the movie itself had been anywhere near as good….
Meg creature test #71-A: 20 ft. largemouth bass and Postlewaite.