December 7, 2005

Aeon Flummoxed

Today’s Movie Review – Aeon Flux

Matt Watson – 2 Baseballs

Back when MTV actually mattered, they used to air this strange cartoon that featured a leather clad heroine always on the run. Whenever I caught it in the wee hours of the morning I always felt like I didn’t have enough information. I could never quite get a grip on what was going on. Intentional or not, Aeon Flux produces the exact same feeling.

In the year 2011, the “industrial virus” will kill 99% of the people on the planet. Those that are left are grouped together in the last city on earth Bregna. This is man’s last hope and turns out his best effort at utopia. We see a garden city where there is no suffering, no poverty, and apparently no freedom. The city is ruled by the Goodchild dynasty and they are in turn opposed by the rebels, the Monicans.

The best weapon the Monicans have is our heroine, Aeon Flux, played by the very talented Charlize Theron. It’s her job to bring down the regime. She has help from her sidekick Sithandra, who happens to have hands for feet. While it makes for interesting hand to hand combat as Nate succinctly put “I don’t approve of hand feet”. Aeon is living a double life as a regular citizen and when her extra-curricular activities become known her family suffers. When the time comes for the Monicans to attempt a coup, Aeon is hell bent on revenge.

Aeon Flux is a visually stunning movie. The garden city provides some very dramatic backdrops and the entire production has a very tangible style. It’s futuristic without being flashy and you wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the fashions on the runways in Paris. The film uses technology as a style tool as well, weaving it in and out of the characters lives to show how far they’ve come from cell phones and email.

While the visual accomplishments are impressive, the film is just that, a visual accomplishment. There is very little depth here and the audience is never given a firm place to sink their teeth in. Apparently there is a war going on but we never find out why the Monicans are fighting. The government apparently provides everyone with homes, food, clothing, and a job. What is there to fight over?

In the end, Aeon Flux is shallow trip through the science fiction ocean. It borrows heavily from the Matrix movies and reminds me a little of Logan’s Run, but it never really cements its own identity. The movie presents a unique look at the future, but never enough information for the audience to get from here to there.

1 comment:

Nate said...

And here I thought the "industrial virus" was what you got from hanging around the Baltimore docks.

Seriously though, upon reflection the movie blows goats.