Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Movie Review Of Aeon Flux

For a movie based on a series of confusing short animations from MTV, Aeon Flux is a very watchable science-fiction movie with an intelligent theme. The story takes place in a dystopic future where all humanity has died off except for 5 million people who live in the walled city, Bregna, under the dynastic rule of the Goodchild family. Aeon Flux is an agent for a revolutionary group seeking to overthrow the repressive government and kill the ruler, Trevor Goodchild. But things are not all that they seem.

The movie has several strengths. It is blessed with a very watchable lead duo in Charlize Theron, as Flux, and Marton Csokas, as Goodchild. (Both actors are from the southern hemisphere. There must be something in the air down there.) They and Jonny Lee Miller make the movie as the three primary actors. The movie's theme, revealed in full at the end, is a mature reflection on the meaning of mortality. The plot's twists and turns and the slow revelation of the true nature of life in Bregna make for thoughtul viewing. Finally, the overall vision and feel of the movie, as important elements in any science fiction movie as acting and story, are credible.

There are a few weaknesses. It appears billed as an action flick but the action feels more like filler for the interesting story and theme. Pete Postlethwaite and Frances McDormand are wasted in supporting roles although their presence in the cast lends credibility to the movie. The costume design leans toward high fashion and is almost silly at times. Postlethwaite's costume especially is as ridiculous as any costume from the movie Zoolander. It's so ridiculous, in fact, it detracts from the emotion of a moment between him and Theron near the end of the movie. Finally, although the movie attempts to hide the mystery at the core of life in Bregna, it is not that hard to figure it out about halfway through.

On balance the movie is worth seeing in theaters. And although it's based on something else, it's not a remake and it tells its own story --- unlike a certain blockbuster starring a really big monkey. Support original movie making. See Aeon Flux while it's still in theaters, but make it a matinee.

-tdr

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