Aeon Flux (2005)

Action, Sci-Fi
Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sophie Okonedo, Marton Csokas
Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. When she is a sent on a mission to kill the Chairman, a whole new mystery is found.
Aeon Flux lacks the gravity-defying pace of its animated predecessor, and, despite some flash, is largely a dull affair.
  • Paramount Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 02 Dec 2005 Released:
  • 25 Apr 2006 DVD Release:
  • $25.9M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

art imitates art9/10
By far the finest film adaptation of a MTV animated short yet! Oh wait, it also may be the only one...;)

While any review of this movie that didn't mention the inspiration would be remiss, it should be noted that Aeon Flux not only stands well on it's own, but leaps and bounds as an eclectic sci-fi tale that just happens to feature a beautiful lead actress in skin-tight outfits laying waste to suckers by the dozen.

Aeon Flux began as a component of MTV's "Liquid Television" animation showcase, where Peter Chung's drastically drawn heroine would zip across infiltrated compounds accompanied solely by the sound of rhythmic footfalls and gunfire, leaving a gory trail of slain soldiers only to meet a gory end herself. The short merited expansion into a series that added a host of profound characters and plot lines, not to mention some well-acted dialog. I was never able to catch the series in sequence, but never felt much of a need to, as the "what the hell is going on here?" feeling that I got from each episode greatly contributed to an overall feeling of "I don't really know, but it's awesome!".

Cerebral. Dynamic. Trippy. Sexy. Words that come to mind to describe the Aeon Flux flavor. I was highly doubtful that any film version could do justice to the original animation, but this movie delivered quite nicely in it's own way. The pleasant disorientation of the series remains to a degree, but the movie is also able to backfill the story behind Trevor and Aeon in a satisfying manner without dumbing down Peter Chung's unique and panoramic bio- nanotechnological science fiction.

I also wasn't sold on the idea of Charlize Theron as lethal-lightning agent Aeon Flux when I first heard she had the part, but once again, Miss Theron demonstrates her versatility and power as an actress, leaving me thinking that no one else could have played the role as well. Charlize took what could have been a hollow, eye-candy-only part and added a sublime depth while bringing the angular, scantily-clad "woman of few words" to life. Any number of hot actresses could have filled out the skimpy digs, but Charlize is able to provide the essential intrigue as well as the splendiferous ass. Add "Action Heroine" to Charlize Theron's already formidable repertoire.

Marton Csokas did a great job of capturing the odd ambiguity of Trevor Goodchild. The supporting cast all performed to par and beyond, with the end result being a memorable post-apocalyptic pseudo-utopian action cyberpunk romance. Say that five times fast! ;)

Of course there will be purists who beef about this or that not being true to whatever part of the original series, and of course there will be sanctimonious "critics" who make droll comparisons to Catwoman, but I feel that the Aeon Flux movie certainly accomplishes a potent and complimentary mix of visual and mental stimulation, and anyone who likes that sort of thing should go see this movie.
Surprisingly I'm NOT Disappointed9/10
I thought for sure I would be.

This is the first movie based on a TV show that I've gone out to see in a long time and for the first time, I haven't been disappointed. For anyone who remembers the original shorts from liquid TV and the following series, this film will fall snug into the sequence of the Aeon Flux story-line (such as it is). I feel that for the first time a movie like this has really captured the imagery, character, and themes of the TV show it's named after. From the script, to the directing, to even the casting, this film has really lived up to a show that I fondly remember from my college years.

When I first heard about it, I cringed at what I was convinced would be a butchering of what was an incredibly well crafted show. I thought for sure that the screenplay wouldn't blend with the series and that it would lack all of the post-modern themes that made the show so thought provoking and mind bending. I thought for sure that the characters in the movie would be the gorgeous carbon copied cliche archetypes we find in every action flik rather than the strange (in personality and looks), flawed, often torn, and questionably motivated characters that made the show so interesting. And I also assumed that this film would be so overwrought with cgi effects that I'd wonder why they didn't just make a cartoon.

I've never been so happy to say that I was wrong on all accounts. The screenplay almost seems like an episode they never made. It begins straightforward, leading into beautifully choreographed action. But just as you think you're settling into a dynamic action piece meant to leave your brain dead, the plot is twisted around, and you find yourself pondering philosophical concepts you haven't pondered since you last read Kurt Vonnegut. The characters and their motives can rarely be pinned to good & evil but more or less selfish; another concept carried over from the show.

The casting was also done with the look of the show in mind. While Theron is far more gorgeous than I ever imagined the real Aeon looking, she captures the stoic, brutal, and graceful demeanors of the series' antihero. The rest of the casting for the film is even better. The actors chosen really do resemble the images I recall from the show like the absurd hair-dos, angular facial features, full lips, and tortured expressions that make you think they're wondering if life is really worth living.

The rest of the film's look is also spectacular because it's perhaps the most realistic futuristic society I've seen on film and because the locations/sets echo the look of the original show. The cgi effects no longer resemble something out of Tron but really make you wonder if what you're looking at is computerized or on the set. This may be just the natural progression of computer effects as I noticed the same thing with the latest Harry Potter movie. The setting (while not as grand and wide as I remember) has retained the post-industrial devolution look and blended it seamlessly with the super-futuristic look of the aristocratic locations.

I feel the only thing they didn't quite get right was the sensually explicit nature of the relationship between Trevor and Aeon. I'm not saying that the movie needed a full out sex scene or anything (although it would've fit considering the theme at the end) but we don't see evidence of the mind games, competition, and fetishism that made the relationship so compelling in the TV run. I was also hoping that the score would have a few echos of the original soundtrack for the shorts and that a few more of the full episode characters would make an appearance, especially Bambara.

Overall, If you fondly remember the Aeon Flux from Mtv's Liquid TV and you liked the full episode series even more, you'll dig this film. If you like weird post modern films (like Brazil, FightClub, or Akira) that leave you thinking a couple of days after you've seen it, you'll dig this film. If you've hated every single crummy movie based on a TV series, you should really dig this film. Most of all; If you're a sci-fi fan who feels it's been far too long since you've seen a good film, get out and see this one.
The critics wrote it off before seeing it, but it turns out to be pretty good.8/10
Aeon Flux gets a bum rap from the critics due primarily to the politics of the studio / critic relationship; the studio's decision not to preview the film got the critic's undies in a bunch. But Aeon Flux turns out to be a solid B+ grade SciFi flick that is inventive, stylistic, coherent and just plain fun to watch, particularly if you are partial to an athletic incarnation of Charlize Theron in Spandex. The film is well-paced. The main characters have depth and there is "real emotion" evident in the acting, always a plus for a SciFi film. There are a few things to complain about to be sure, but they're not crucial to the plot. I enjoyed the "existential dilemma" and "identity crisis" elements that made the story interesting. I'll look forward to watching this one again in a year or two.
Like Fifth Element, without the humour7/10
When I originally heard of Aeon Flux, it sounded absolutely terrible. The posters looked even worse. However, after seeing a trailer somewhere, I loved the look and bright colours (being easily pleased) and decided to give the movie a chance.

Aeon Flux is the story of a female, barely clothed rebel sent in to assassinate the ruler of a dystopian isolated city, which contains the entire remainder of mankind. Let's just say the plot is entirely unoriginal, a derivative of many other Sci-Fi movies and stories.

Charlieze Theron gets to prance around with an insect-like walk (her first appearance strongly reminded me of a praying mantis), salamander-like crawls, and other, animal-inspired, ballet-like movements. The world of Aeon Flux is drawn in bright, almost psychedelic colours, and it feels as if we glimpse only the tiniest part of this strange place. A lake of tears acts as CCTV for the entire city, pills exchanged in French kisses are used for telepathy, little pellets of liquid metal have a will of their own... A good chunk of the film is dazzling to watch, without any explanation behind it. Strictly speaking, Aeon Flux is about 80% futuristic fantasy, with very little science fiction in it. In fact, it sometimes feels as if the strangely organic gadgets of the rebels do not fit in this world - as the authorities seem to have more conventional technology and weapons.

What Aeon Flux succeeds at the most is dazzling the audience. Visually, stylistically, and with its energy and futuristic fantasy (and constantly underdressed heroine). In that, it reminds me strongly of Fifth Element - another film where we feel as if we only get a glimpse of a futuristic, colourful world full of strangely dressed people, without the need to explain or expose every aspect of it. However, Aeon Flux is less satisfying than Luc Besson's classic - because it lacks a sense of humour and takes itself too seriously (which, given the plot, is a bad move).

All in all, I would recommend the film to people who enjoy Fifth Element, bright colours, a sense of visual alienation, and unoriginal science fiction dressed up in a bright, original and almost unique coating.
Way better than you might expect8/10
We just got home from seeing Aeon Flux, and for my money, it turned out to be far better than I had expected. Ready for an action movie with lots of leaping, jumping and hero stuff, it was all of that - but more. It actually had a story line! And it was that story line that kept things moving nicely along.

I think that it's relatively short length (97 minutes) also helped it from being bogged down with minutiae and having a plot that had to be mercilessly stretched beyond its limits. The scenes were crisply photographed, the special effects were enough to give the film its character WITHOUT making it a special-effects movie, per se.

Although a little thin in some parts, the dialogue was fair. The only thing I thought might have made it better was the development of some of the peripheral characters.

Charlize Theron is very versatile, and now I fully intend to see the anime of Aeon Flux.