Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. When she is sent on a mission to kill the Chairman, a whole new mystery is ... Read allAeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. When she is sent on a mission to kill the Chairman, a whole new mystery is found.Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. When she is sent on a mission to kill the Chairman, a whole new mystery is found.
It's the future. There's been a plague. There is a dictatorship, and there are rebels. The latter are known as the Monicans, and far from being a cult of beret or tennis racket worshipers, they're into attempts to overthrow the former, called the Goodchild regime. The regime is occasionally mean to the citizenry, which is more than Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron) and her pals can stand. Through some sort of biochemical virtual reality technology, the Monicans receive orders from their dear leader (Frances McDormand), a mystical priestess-type who appears to have been cross-bred with a carrot. It falls to Aeon to strap on some form-fitting, futuristic spandex get-ups to carry out the High Carrot's orders, which are of course some version of "destroy the regime." Having years earlier watched her sister get liquidated by the Goodchilds, she needs little convincing.
Not surprisingly, things get complicated. The Goodchilds might not be quite what they seem, and Aeon herself might have an unexpected history with them. Though occasionally muddled, the film's central conceit (of which I won't reveal more) contains some neat notions about the nature of human existence and survival. There's room for much more examination of which the film doesn't take advantage, but the ideas are there, at least. The big problems of "Aeon Flux" are technical. Kusama has made the baffling decision to film nearly all the action so close that we can rarely follow what's going on. To make matters worse, it's edited in a flurry of jump cuts that leave us completely lost. The result is some serious spacial disorientation that takes over the film. "Aeon Flux"'s aesthetic is one of sleek costume, oddly-angled architecture, and nimble characters. Much of the action occurs in minimalist, open spaces that beg for some unbroken long shots that might convey the grace and athleticism implied by the above. Instead, we get split seconds of flying limbs, breaking glass, and accompanying sound effects.
There is a pretty good movie trying to get out of the morass of "Aeon Flux." Put this stuff in the hands of the Wachowski brothers, say, and the results could be quite different. As it is, though, I felt like "Aeon Flux" was willfully pushing me away from a movie I wanted to enjoy. This film is unattuned to its own strengths. Like a novice poker player dealt a royal flush, it somehow finds a way to lose in spite of its potential.
- Dec 24, 2005