Flux (PG-13) C-
by Amy Diaz
Charlize Theron fulfills the crappy-action-movie obligation of her
post-Oscar contract with Aeon Flux, a pointless attempt to adapt a
perfectly bizarre animated series.
Really, it’s in the contract. Just ask Halle Berry.
Aeon Flux, the old Aeon Flux that ran on MTV in the wee hours, was
awesomely meaningless. It showed you a bunch of odd, engrossing visuals
about buildings shaped like shells, flowers that could kill and insects
that were actually robots plus a highly trained assassin/anarchist who
committed all sorts of naughtiness for no particular reason. And in some
of the episodes, that assassin would die. Why? Doesn’t matter. Aeon Flux
was just a relaxing break from Yo! MTV Raps and Headbangers’ Ball.
the live-action movie comes along and tries to fill in back story and
motivation and reason. Bah, how unnecessary. Aeon (Theron) is now part
of a group of freedom fighters looking to bring down a government run by
benevolent dictator Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas). The last remaining
humans live in a city (clean, multi-ethnic, with lots of parks) that’s a
perfect paradise of urban planning and post-modern architecture. But,
though the government is a good provider, it sometimes kills people. So
Aeon talks to her handler (Frances McDormand, in desperate need of a
hairbrush and a better agent) and is told to take out Goodchild. The
operation requires defeat of some nifty obstacles (a garden of plants
that shoot bullets and razor blades of grass) and to get close enough to
Goodchild to take him out. But when Aeon is finally face to face with
Trevor, she discovers that he might not be the big bad.
then there’s more acrobatics and Aeon scampering around in an artfully
cut cat suit. She’s supposed to be nimble and coolly analytical and
deadly. But mostly she seems sort of desperate, like an actress who
realizes that she’s in a lousy movie and is trying to figure out how to
make it work for her.
Pull any given still shot out of this film and you probably have a nifty
visual — a twisty hallway, an interesting contrast between blue sky and
building, a crazy amber-colored shell blimp. But nifty still-frames,
though perfect extras to give away with the special-edition DVD, do not
make a successful movie.
Once again, TV about nothing is so much better than a movie about